HealthDay News — Higher leisure time physical activity is associated with a lower risk of developing heart failure, according to researchers published in Circulation: Heart Failure.

To assess the total and direct effects of self-reported total and leisure-time physical activity on the risk of heart failure or any cause and heart failure of non-ischemic origin, Kasper Andersen, MD, PhD, of the Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues evaluated responses from a questionnaire of lifestyle factors and medical history for 39,805 patients without baseline heart failure in 1997.

Lower risk of heart failure of any cause correlated with higher leisure-time physical activity, (hazard ratio of the total effect of leisure time physical activity, 0.54 for the fifth versus first quintile) reported the inspectors. Although the effect was less pronounced, high total daily physical activity level also correlated with lower risk of heart failure (total effect HR, 0.81 for fifth versus first quintile).

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“Leisure-time physical activity was inversely related to risk of developing heart failure in a dose-response fashion,” wrote the researchers.

“This was reflected in a similar but less pronounced association of total physical activity with risk of heart failure. Only part of the effects appeared to be mediated by traditional risk factors.”


  1. Circulation: Heart Failure. 2014; doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.001010

Disclosures: Two authors disclosed financial ties to the health care and/or weight loss industries. The study was partially funded by Ericsson and Ica Sweden.