Exercise can battle Genetic Disposition to Heart Problems

A new study has suggested that regular exercise helps to reduce one’s chances of contracting heart complications, even in cases where one’s genes put them at a higher risk of such conditions. The study applied an extensive approach and involved over 500, 000 candidates in their middle ages and above. It discovered that individuals with better fitness levels than their counterparts were less likely to contract such complications, regardless of the gene variants present in their system. The researchers noted that regular exercise did not negate the effects of these genetic dispositions, but left individuals in a better position than those who paid no attention to their fitness levels.

Heart Disease and Exercise

Dr. Erik Ingelsson, a senior researcher based at Stanford University and specializing in the field of medicine stated that improved fitness levels gained through exercise held a large number of benefits for an individual. Although the particular exercise regimen to gain the best results was not determined, studies were directed towards gauging a person’s fitness levels in relation to their risk exposure to heart complications over the next six years. These levels were measured via the use of a stationary bike for easier recording purposes. The results suggested that higher levels of fitness led to lower chances of heart complications, no matter the genetics of the participants involved.

Some of the heart conditions that could be influenced by increased fitness levels include variations such as coronary heart disease, where the organ’s arteries develop a hardened and narrow formation leading to problems such as heart attacks, as well as atrial fibrillation, which is a disorder that raises the risk of heart failure and strokes. A third of the candidates who suffered from higher risk of heart disease due to their genes exhibited a 49% less likelihood of contracting complications as a result of their high levels of fitness. This notable difference exhibited the importance of inducing an adequate exercise regime in one’s regular routine.

Heart Disease and Genetic Disposition

Dr. Ingelsson noted that not everyone with a genetic disposition to heart complications might be aware of their condition due to the lack of an established and easily accessible identification procedure. In most cases, individuals who are aware of the existence of such variants are informed by past cases that have taken place within their family tree. During the six years of research carried out by the scientists, 21, 000 cases of heart complications took place, with those featuring certain gene variants being the most vulnerable to such attacks. Individuals in this genetic group were found to be 77% more likely to suffer from coronary heart diseases for example, as compared to their counterparts.

However, the maintenance of adequate fitness levels played a role in curbing the risk of such complications in individuals despite their particular genetic background. It should be noted that the kind of exercise involved does not really matter as long as it is effective and assists the participant in getting their heart rate up during the activity.