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Aritmologia in Campania

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Atrial fibrillation is associated with different levels of physical activity levels at different ages in men

Nikola Drca, Alicja Wolk, Mats Jensen-Urstad, Susanna C Larsson


Objective This study examines the influence of physical
activity at different ages and of different types, on the risk
of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) in a large cohort of
Swedish men.
Methods Information about physical activity was
obtained from 44 410 AF-free men, aged 45–79 years
(mean age=60), who had completed a self-administered
questionnaire at baseline in 1997. Participants reported
retrospectively their time spent on leisure-time exercise
and on walking or bicycling throughout their lifetime
(at 15, 30 and 50 years of age, and at baseline (mean
age=60)). Participants were followed-up in the Swedish
National Inpatient Register for ascertainment of AF. Cox
proportional hazards regression models were used to
estimate relative risks (RR) with 95% CIs, adjusted for
potential confounders.
Results During a median follow-up of 12 years, 4568
cases of AF were diagnosed. We observed a RR of 1.19
(95% CI 1.05 to 1.36) of developing AF in men who at
the age of 30 years had exercised for >5 h/week
compared with <1 h/week. The risk was even higher (RR
1.49, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.95) among the men who
exercised >5 h/week at age 30 and quit exercising later in
life (<1 h/week at baseline). Walking/bicycling at baseline
was inversely associated with risk of AF (RR 0.87, 95% CI
0.77 to 0.97 for >1 h/day vs almost never) and the
association was similar after excluding men with previous
coronary heart disease or heart failure at baseline
(corresponding RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.77 to 0.998).
Conclusions Leisure-time exercise at younger age is
associated with an increased risk of AF, whereas walking/
bicycling at older age is associated with a decreased risk.

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