The Big Number: 40 push-ups linked to better heart health in men

Kenny Tucker
February 18, 2019

According to Dr. Guy Mintz, push-ups might be a better assessment for "physical fitness and cardiovascular health in professions that require increased physical abilities, such as police officers, firefighters or sanitation workers".

"Surprisingly, push-up capacity was more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk than the results of submaximal treadmill tests", lead author Dr Justin Yang, occupational medicine resident at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said in a press release.

The study involved 1,104 firefighters over 18 in IN with a mean age of 39.6 and mean body mass index (BMI) of 28.7 recruited to a retrospective longitudinal cohort study between 2000 and 2010.

This is the first study to determine that push-ups can be an effective test for future cardiovascular disease risk, but independent experts warned its findings would need to be proven in other groups - this includes groups who are less active and in women.

"Our findings provide evidence that push-up capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk in nearly any setting", said study author Justin Yang, from Harvard's TH Chan School of Public Health. The longitudinal study followed a group of 1,104 firefighters and assessed their physical fitness over a period of 10 years.

'However, objectively measured CRF levels are often significantly lower than expected based on self-reported physical activity.

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"The use of these tools remains limited to particular occupations and targeted patient populations", it says.

(Web Desk) - Middle-aged men who are not able to complete ten push-ups are more likely to suffer from heart attacks or strokes, a study by a research team of the Harvard University has determined.

'We hypothesised that higher fitness levels would be associated with lower rates of incident CVD'.

But it's still a finding that bears further consideration in follow-up studies, especially since gauging push-up capacity is such a relatively easy clinical test for health professionals to conduct with patients who are physically able to undergo it.

All but one occurred in men who completed 40 or fewer pushups during the baseline exam. The researchers calculated that men able to do more than 40 push-ups had a 96 percent reduced risk of CVD events compared with those who were able to do less than 10 push-ups. "Although larger studies in more diverse cohorts are needed, push-up capacity may be a simple, no-cost measure to estimate functional status".

What's interesting is that push-ups are now the best way to determine CVD cases.

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