Fit teenagers less likely to have heart attacks

8 January 2014        

Teen skateboarding

There is an association between fitness as a teenager and risk of heart attack in later life, Swedish researchers have claimed.

In a study of aerobic fitness in men, participants took a cycle test where the resistance was gradually increased until they were too exhausted to continue.

For every 15 per cent increase in aerobic fitness, researchers found an approximately 18 per cent reduced risk of a heart attack 30 years later.

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, Christopher Allen, said: “We may leave behind the hairstyles and fashions of our teenage years, but this research shows that our adolescent lifestyle choices may leave a more permanent legacy.

"We know that keeping active from a young age can benefit our health later in life and this study reinforces the importance of teenage exercise in reducing the risk of a heart attack.

“Alongside plenty of physical activity, it’s important that young people enjoy a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight as they grow up. Parents and teachers can give teenagers a healthy start by helping them to find an activity they enjoy so that they can look after their hearts for the years to come.”