The Influence of Change in Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Short-Term Exercise Training on Mortality Risk From The Ball State Adult Fitness Longitudinal Lifestyle Study.

Imboden MT; Harber MP; Whaley MH; Finch WH; Bishop DA; Fleenor BS;Kaminsky LA;

Mayo Clinic Proceedings [Mayo Clin Proc] 2019 Jul 11. Date of Electronic Publication: 2019 Jul 11.

Objective: To assess the influence of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) after exercise training on mortality risk in a cohort of self-referred, apparently healthy adults.
Patients and Methods: A total of 683 participants (404 men, 279 women; mean age: 42.7±11.0 y) underwent two maximal cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPX) between March 20, 1970, and December 11, 2012, to assess CRF at baseline (CPX1) and post-exercise training (CPX2). Participants were followed for an average of 29.8±10.7 years after their CPX2. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to determine the relationship of CRF change with mortality, with change in CRF as a continuous variable, as well as a categorical variable. A Wald chi-square test was used to compare the coefficients estimating the relationship of peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) at CPX1 with VO2peak measured at CPX2 with time until death for all-cause mortality.
Results: During the follow-up period there were 180 deaths. When assessed independently, there were 20% (95% CI, 10-49%) and 38% (95% CI, 7-66%) lower mortality risks per 1 metabolic equivalent improvement in CRF (P<.01) in men and women, respectively, after multivariable adjustment. Those that remained unfit had ∼2-fold higher risk for all-cause mortality compared with those that remained fit and CRF at CPX2 was a stronger predictor of all-cause mortality than at CPX1 (P=.02).
Conclusion: Improving CRF through exercise training lowers mortality risk. Clinicians should encourage individuals to participate in exercise training to improve CRF to lower risk of mortality.