For Men – Fitness Reduces Mortality Risks, Weight Loss Doesn’t
A remarkable study compared fitness and weight loss to see which had the greatest impact in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease death and “all-cause mortality” (death from anything) for men. The study involved over 14,000 men with an average age of 44 years.
After almost 11 ½ years, the researchers examined the results, comparing whether the men improved, maintained or lost fitness with whether they gained, maintained or lost weight (Body Mass Index – BMI).
Surprisingly, gaining, losing or maintain weight did not impact the risk of cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality. Men who lost weight did not reduce their risk of death.
But men who improved or maintained their fitness over the 11+ years did reduce their risk of death. Those men who merely maintained their fitness reduced their cardiovascular disease mortality by 27% and reduced their risk of all-cause mortality by 30%. Those men who were able to increase their fitness saw their cardiovascular disease mortality risk drop by 42% and their risk of all-cause mortality drop by 39%.
These results send a simple message to men as they age. Their goal should be to maintain or increase their fitness. While they may reduce their weight by doing so, even if they don’t, they can expect to reduce their risk of dying prematurely.