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

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Abstract

Purpose

Walking 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.

Methods

318,185 UK Biobank participants (54% women) aged 40-69 years were included. Walking pace and total walking time were self-reported. The outcomes comprised: all-cause mortality as well as incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease and cancer. The associations were investigated using Cox proportional hazard models.

Results

Over a mean of 5.0 years [ranging from 3.3 to 7.8], 5,890 participants died, 18,568 developed CVD, 5,430 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 (HR0.79 [95% CI: 0.69; 0.90] and 0.73 [95% CI: 0.62; 0.85]), CVD (HR 0.62 [0.50; 0.76] and 0.80 [0.73; 0.88]), respiratory disease (HR 0.58 [95% CI 0.43; 0.78] and 0.66 [0.57; 0.77]), COPD (HR 0.26 [95% 0.12; 0.56] and 0.28 [0.16; 0.49]). No associations were found for all-cause cancer, colorectal, breast cancer. However, brisk walking was associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.

Conclusions

Walking pace is associated with lower risk of a wide range of important health conditions, independently of overall time spent walking.

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