The purpose of the study was to describe the secular trend in CRF as a function of decade and age in a large cohort of men during the past 40 yr.Methods:
A cross-sectional analysis of baseline fitness data collected during comprehensive medical examinations of 52,785 men age 20-74 yr evaluated at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX, from 1970 to 2009 who completed a maximum treadmill exercise test for estimation of aerobic capacity was conducted. Comparisons were made between mean fitness levels in each decade stratified by five age groups.Results:
Mean CRF in MET from estimated V˙O2max has increased overall approximately 1 MET during a 40-yr period for each of the five age groups (P < 0.0001). The greatest change occurred during the 1970s to 1980s with minimal subsequent increase and a small decline commencing in the last decade especially in younger men.Conclusions:
In a large cohort of men, average CRF has improved during the last 40 yr with a slight decline in the favorable trend notable in the most recent decade.