What is CRF & can it protect against COPD?
A research study from Denmark finds good heart and lung/cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in middle age is associated with a lower long-term risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). As a result, the study concluded physical activity that boosts fitness should be encouraged “to delay development, progression and death from COPD.”
Smoking is the big risk factor for COPD, which WHO ranks as the fourth most frequent cause of death worldwide. However, a high level of physical activity and/or leisure time exercise is associated with a reduced risk, while physical inactivity may speed up its progression.
In the Danish study the estimated risk of COPD was 21% lower in men with normal CRF and 31% lower in men with high CRF compared to men with low CRF. When it came to the COPD estimated risk of death, compared with low CRF, it 35% lower in men with normal CRF and 62% lower in men with high CRF.
As an observational study, causation is not established, while the processes that link CRF with the development and progression of COPD also are not clear, however, the researchers suggest that inflammation, linked to physical inactivity, may have a key role.
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