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Sedentary time tied to heart failure hospitalization in postmenopausal women

Circulation: Heart Failure
Reuters Health - 04/12/2020 - Postmenopausal women who spend more time sitting and lying down have increased odds of requiring hospitalization for heart failure, a recent study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 80,982 participants aged 50 -79 years in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study who had no history of heart failure and could walk at least one block unassisted at baseline. After a mean follow-up period of 9 years, there were 1,402 cases of physician-adjudicated heart failure hospitalization.

Compared to women in the lowest tertile for total sedentary time (6.5 hours or less daily), women in the middle tertile (6.6 to 9.5 hours daily) and the highest tertile (more than 9.5 hours daily) were significantly more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure during the study (hazard ratios 1.15 and 1.42, respectively).

"Even among women who reported recreational physical activity levels that meet current guidelines, heart failure risk was elevated in the women who also reported more than 9.5 hours per day of sitting and lying activity," said lead study author said Michael LaMonte, lead author of the study a researcher in epidemiology and environmental health at the University at Buffalo in New York.

"This latter finding points to the need to not only promote more physical activity for heart failure prevention, but to ALSO promote interruption of sedentary time throughout the day," LaMonte said by email.

When researchers looked only at sitting time, this, too, was positively associated with an increased risk of heart failure hospitalization.

Compared to women who sat for a median 4.5 hours daily, women who sat for a median 4.6 to 8.5 hours or a median of more than 8.5 hours had a higher risk of heart failure hospitalization (HR 1.14 and 1.54, respectively).

The association between sedentary time and heart failure hospitalization persisted even after accounting for known heart failure risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and previous heart attacks, researchers report in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Sedentary behavior was assessed by questionnaire at baseline and again at years 3, 6 and 9, using questions about total time spent sitting, or in a lying position while awake, and time spent sleeping.

One limitation of the study is that sedentary time was not independently verified by an accelerometer or other wearable device to track movement, the study team notes.

Still, the results underscore the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, national volunteer spokesperson for Go Red for Women and a private practice cardiologist in New York City.

"We have become a sedentary culture, with much of our work and leisure time spent sedentary," Dr. Steinbaum, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email. "This lifestyle predilection is what is the greatest issue, and it is important to discuss with woman patients how to incorporate movement into her days, along with at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise."

"Discussing a standing desk, or going for a 5-minute walk every hour while at work, or taking 2 minutes to run in place throughout the day can mean the difference between health and heart failure over time," Dr. Steinbaum added.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/39Far7G Circulation: Heart Failure, online November 24, 2020.

By Lisa Rapaport

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