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Declining Fitness a Serious Heart Risk

Old 02-14-13, 06:22 PM
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Declining Fitness a Serious Heart Risk

From the Cleveland Clinic:
"... The study looked at more than 2,600 Finnish men between the ages of 42 and 60 who lost more than 15 percent of their cardiorespiratory fitness over a decade. In the following decade, the study showed that these men almost doubled their risk of a heart attack and experienced more than two times the chance of dying from any cause."

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/20...us-heart-risk/

I guess that means I need to keep pedaling...
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Old 02-14-13, 06:29 PM
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Interesting. I wonder if the study took into account that maybe the study subjects lost more than 15 percent of their cardiorespiratory fitness because of heart disease, not lack of exercise.

I'm not sure I'm phrasing that well, but might they be confusing cause and effect?

Speaking of which.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzWckYfZhbA
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Old 02-14-13, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Interesting. I wonder if the study took into account that maybe the study subjects lost more than 15 percent of their cardiorespiratory fitness because of heart disease, not lack of exercise.

I'm not sure I'm phrasing that well, but might they be confusing cause and effect?

Speaking of which.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzWckYfZhbA
"The study also took into account the typical risk factors of heart disease, including lipids, body mass index, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol consumption and found there was still a risk that related only to a personís level of fitness"

... So, theoretically: the answer is "YES". But, like any and all medical studies: "Did they do it right????" We don't know.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:35 PM
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Just getting older increases one's chance of cardiac problems.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:21 PM
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I think the conclusion was more along the lines of - If you quit exercising your health will decline. Thats news to me!
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Old 02-14-13, 09:24 PM
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Getting older increases your chance of dying.
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Old 02-14-13, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Linedog View Post
Getting older increases your chance of dying.
Let's just cut to the chase. Being born increases one's chance of dying.
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Old 02-15-13, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
Let's just cut to the chase. Being born increases one's chance of dying.
I was a zygote once.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:18 AM
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There's all sorts of really useful medical information that frequently pop up on these forums.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:35 AM
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Generally speaking excersize will help your heart be healthier. Unless you have underlying issues, like a young man the other day died instantly after returning from a short run. His heart just stopped beating because of a valve failure. You never know. Just keep cycling and keep the cholesterol down.
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Old 02-15-13, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
I was a zygote once.
I was once two gametes, they met, and became me.

Remember, you're dying every day and getting closer to that dirt nap or the urn on the mantle.
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Old 02-15-13, 05:51 PM
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I know that I have lost weight, improved my blood pressure and cholesterol and even my golf game since I started riding again. Then again I have been to the hospital and Urgent Care a couple of times because of a good bike ride gone south. As for me, I'm gonna keep riding until my wife takes a chainsaw to the bikes.

That might happen someday.

TODAY is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you will never be again. Get busy!
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Old 02-15-13, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Interesting. I wonder if the study took into account that maybe the study subjects lost more than 15 percent of their cardiorespiratory fitness because of heart disease, not lack of exercise.
Yes, they don't show any causation, even though they say they "took into account the typical risk factors." Here's why: the only way to show cause and effect is to do an experiment (rather than a study). That is, you take 2,600 Finnish guys, and for each one, you flip a coin, and tell them either "You keep exercising for the next 10 years" or "You stop exercising." Of course, this is not how they did it, and that experiment wouldn't even be feasible.

This is the problem with most of the studies reported in the news.

I do, however think it's a good idea to keep exercising.
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Old 02-15-13, 08:22 PM
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Since we did not randomly assign people to be poor, uneducated, and live in blighted slums I just realized that we cannot possibly know anything about the consequences of those things. Bummer.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yes, they don't show any causation, even though they say they "took into account the typical risk factors." Here's why: the only way to show cause and effect is to do an experiment (rather than a study). That is, you take 2,600 Finnish guys, and for each one, you flip a coin, and tell them either "You keep exercising for the next 10 years" or "You stop exercising." Of course, this is not how they did it, and that experiment wouldn't even be feasible.

This is the problem with most of the studies reported in the news.

I do, however think it's a good idea to keep exercising.
Yes, you're talking about a "Random Controlled Trial" which in medicine is considered the highest form of evidence. The study in this situation was not randomly controlled, it merely compared two groups. Medically speaking, that doesn't make it invalid, it simply means it is considered a lower level of evidence.

... But neither is actual proof -- it is merely a difference in degree of certainty...
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Old 02-15-13, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
Yes, you're talking about a "Random Controlled Trial" which in medicine is considered the highest form of evidence. The study in this situation was not randomly controlled, it merely compared two groups. Medically speaking, that doesn't make it invalid, it simply means it is considered a lower level of evidence.

... But neither is actual proof -- it is merely a difference in degree of certainty...
Not sure I'd even agree with the "lower level" part of that but at least you take my point. Taking real world groups as they are is the ONLY level of evidence we will ever have on some things. But when you get convergent findings from several related studies of that sort it is very likely that you are on to something with a fair degree of certainty. And even with the best controlled experiments the conclusion is almost always "more research is needed."

i might even be willing to argue that some of the best science ever done did not involve experimentation at all.

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Old 02-15-13, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
Not sure I'd even agree with the "lower level" part of that but at least you take my point. Taking real world groups as they are is the ONLY level of evidence we will ever have on some things. But when you get convergent findings from several related studies of that sort it is very likely that you are on to something with a fair degree of certainty. And even with the best controlled experiments the conclusion is almost always "more research is needed."

i might even be willing to argue that some of the best science ever done did not involve experimentation at all
.
Are talking about the guy sitting under the apple tree who got knocked on the head by an apple?

I think part of the trouble is: medical research comes up with these statistical probabilities and then extrapolates them out into meaningful results -- and then they tell us that they proved something. And we believe them. But, as we all know, 5 years later they run another trial and find out the first one was wrong...

Personally, I prefer objective reasoning. The kind an engineer uses when he builds a bridge. Unfortunately, that kind of rationale is very scarce in the world of medical research...

BTW: Personally I have been seeing more and more studies like this one that show exercise / physical fitness does make a difference for the heart and the brain. While I have not seen any one thing that "proves" it (even by the loose standards that medicine applies) I have been seeing more and more less formal evidence (like this) that says it does.
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Old 02-16-13, 07:23 PM
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My favorite is the media reports on studies that show that people who have sex more often live longer. They conclude that if you have more sex, it will cause you to live longer.

I think it's much more likely that sick, overweight people have less sex. IOW, healthier people have sex more often, and healthier people live longer.

So, it's not really a question of the quality of the evidence, but what conclusions you can draw from studies versus experiments.

Three other examples of this problem:





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Old 02-18-13, 10:42 AM
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"Random controlled" sounds like an oxymoron to me.
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Old 02-19-13, 05:35 AM
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I wonder what general lifestyle differences exist in Finnish men over - let's say - the typical east coast American man of the same age. Are diet, stress levels, etc. significantly different? I wonder if there are similar studies under way elsewhere?
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Old 02-19-13, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
Are talking about the guy sitting under the apple tree who got knocked on the head by an apple?

I think part of the trouble is: medical research comes up with these statistical probabilities and then extrapolates them out into meaningful results -- and then they tell us that they proved something. And we believe them. But, as we all know, 5 years later they run another trial and find out the first one was wrong...

Personally, I prefer objective reasoning. The kind an engineer uses when he builds a bridge. Unfortunately, that kind of rationale is very scarce in the world of medical research...

BTW: Personally I have been seeing more and more studies like this one that show exercise / physical fitness does make a difference for the heart and the brain. While I have not seen any one thing that "proves" it (even by the loose standards that medicine applies) I have been seeing more and more less formal evidence (like this) that says it does.
I'm not sure how fair this is. Most studies I've read include a discussion of the study's limitations. My experience has been these are usually pretty detailed. I suspect that by the time the study is being described to the general public the "they" you mention are no longer the researchers who are telling us. Of the numerous researcher I know from a range of disciplines, they're pretty forthright with the limitations and what can be taken from the work.
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Old 02-19-13, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by billydonn View Post

i might even be willing to argue that some of the best science ever done did not involve experimentation at all.
Well OK. That's a bold statement. What examples do you have in mind?
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Old 02-19-13, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
My favorite is the media reports on studies that show that people who have sex more often live longer. They conclude that if you have more sex, it will cause you to live longer.

I think it's much more likely that sick, overweight people have less sex. IOW, healthier people have sex more often, and healthier people live longer.

So, it's not really a question of the quality of the evidence, but what conclusions you can draw from studies versus experiments.

Three other examples of this problem:





Those are cool graphs. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is always a problem in the medical sciences.
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Old 02-19-13, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
I'm not sure how fair this is. Most studies I've read include a discussion of the study's limitations. My experience has been these are usually pretty detailed. I suspect that by the time the study is being described to the general public the "they" you mention are no longer the researchers who are telling us. Of the numerous researcher I know from a range of disciplines, they're pretty forthright with the limitations and what can be taken from the work.
That's an excellent point!

Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
Well OK. That's a bold statement. What examples do you have in mind?
Okay, here's some classic science that wasn't experimental. It started the field of epidemiology. Removal of the pump handle wasn't the real science part of it as it turned out.

http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/broadstreetpump.html

And further, there's the field of paleoanthropology which seems both important and scientific to me but I can't seem to find their experiments:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/or...s_overview.php

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/

And it doesn't really seem like a very bold statement at all.

This may be bold: The more a person uses the word "proof" the less they know about science... Just correlational evidence though. I can't prove it.

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Old 02-19-13, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
I suspect that by the time the study is being described to the general public the "they" you mention are no longer the researchers who are telling us.
Yes. You have to remember that in most cases, you have some news people combing press releases, looking for some story that will sell advertising. They want a sound bite like "When we come back: Could failing to meet your new year's resolution give you a heart attack?" They present it in the most dramatic 30 second way that they can find.
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