Walking Pace Is Associated with Lower Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality

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PurposeWalking pace is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Whether this association extends to other health outcomes and whether it is independent of total amount of time walked are currently unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether usual walking pace is associated with a range of health outcomes.MethodsUK Biobank participants (318,185 [54%] women) age 40 to 69 yr were included. Walking pace and total walking time were self-reported. The outcomes comprised: all-cause mortality as well as incidence and mortality from CVD, respiratory disease and cancer. The associations were investigated using Cox proportional hazard models.ResultsOver a mean of 5.0 yr [ranging from 3.3 to 7.8], 5890 participants died, 18,568 developed CVD, 5430 respiratory disease and 19,234 cancer. In a fully adjusted model, compared to slow pace walkers, men and women, respectively, with a brisk pace having lower risk of mortality from all-causes (hazard ratio [HR], 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69–0.90 and HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62–0.85), CVD (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.50–0.76 and HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73–0.88), respiratory disease (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.43–0.78 and HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.57–0.77), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.12–0.56 and HR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.16–0.49). No associations were found for all-cause cancer, colorectal, and breast cancer. However, brisk walking was associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.ConclusionsWalking pace is associated with lower risk of a wide range of important health conditions, independently of overall time spent walking.

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