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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Research: Run for your life

A new treadmill test developed by scientists can predict a person’s risk of dying and could be a useful measurement tool for fitness professionals

By Katie Barnes, Spa Business | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 4
The FIT Treadmill Score can predict risk of death based on fitness levels / photo:www.shutterstock.com/Robert Kneschke
The FIT Treadmill Score can predict risk of death based on fitness levels / photo:www.shutterstock.com/Robert Kneschke

A group of cardiologists in the US have developed a new formula to predict the likelihood of death based on a treadmill test – and they say that fitness is the single most powerful indicator of death and survival, trumping other important variables such as diabetes and family history.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medicine institution in Baltimore, US, say their formula can predict a person’s risk of dying over the next decade, based on their ability to exercise on a treadmill at an increasing speed and incline.

For their research – outlined in the 2 March 2015 edition of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings – the cardiologists studied data on 58,020 people, aged 18 to 96, who underwent standard exercise stress tests for evaluation of chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting or dizziness. They then tracked how many of the participants within each fitness level died from any cause over the next decade.

FIT Treadmill Score
The results reveal that among people of the same age and gender, fitness levels – as measured by metabolic equivalents (METs) – and peak heart rate reached during exercise were the greatest indicators of death risk.

“The notion that being in good physical shape portends lower death risk is by no means new, but we wanted to quantify that risk precisely by age, gender and fitness level, and do so with an elegantly simple equation that requires no additional fancy testing beyond the standard stress test,” says lead investigator Haitham Ahmed.

“Stress test results are currently interpreted as ‘either/or’, but we know that heart disease is a spectrum disorder. We believe our FIT score reflects the complex nature of cardiovascular health and can therefore offer important insights to both clinicians and patients.”

Under the new algorithm, dubbed the FIT Treadmill Score, people are scored between -200 and 200, with those scoring above 0 having lower mortality risk and those in the negative range facing the highest risk of dying. Patients who score 100 or higher have a 2 per cent risk of dying over the next 10 years (i.e. two out of 100 people in this group will die over the next 10 years), while those with scores between 0 and 100 face a 3 per cent risk. Those with scores between -100 and 0 face an 11 per cent risk, while those with scores lower than -100 have a 38 per cent risk.

Published along with the study is a chart depicting death risk by age, gender and fitness level, which can be printed on placards for use in doctors’ offices to guide clinical advice.

“The FIT Treadmill Score is easy to calculate and costs nothing beyond the cost of the treadmill test itself,” says senior study author Michael Blaha. “We hope that illustrating risk that way could become a catalyst for patients to increase exercise and improve cardiovascular fitness.”

Implications for gyms
Given that many people are encouraged to seek a stress test from doctors before joining health clubs or embarking on exercise, the test has potential implications for gyms in terms of boosting motivation and quantifying exercise improvements. For example, those with a high risk of death in the next decade could be shown how that risk diminishes as their fitness improves.

For more information go to: www.health-club.co.uk/mayoclinic

Edited by Katie Barnes. Email: [email protected]

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Bash: Augie Nieto with Gavin DeGraw and wife Lynne
The Bash: Augie Nieto with Gavin DeGraw and wife Lynne
The busy show floor hosted product demonstrations and launches, with 388 companies showcasing their products and services
The busy show floor hosted product demonstrations and launches, with 388 companies showcasing their products and services
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Study highlights a new treadmill test that identifies a person’s risk of dying
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features

Research: Run for your life

A new treadmill test developed by scientists can predict a person’s risk of dying and could be a useful measurement tool for fitness professionals

By Katie Barnes, Spa Business | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 4
The FIT Treadmill Score can predict risk of death based on fitness levels / photo:www.shutterstock.com/Robert Kneschke
The FIT Treadmill Score can predict risk of death based on fitness levels / photo:www.shutterstock.com/Robert Kneschke

A group of cardiologists in the US have developed a new formula to predict the likelihood of death based on a treadmill test – and they say that fitness is the single most powerful indicator of death and survival, trumping other important variables such as diabetes and family history.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medicine institution in Baltimore, US, say their formula can predict a person’s risk of dying over the next decade, based on their ability to exercise on a treadmill at an increasing speed and incline.

For their research – outlined in the 2 March 2015 edition of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings – the cardiologists studied data on 58,020 people, aged 18 to 96, who underwent standard exercise stress tests for evaluation of chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting or dizziness. They then tracked how many of the participants within each fitness level died from any cause over the next decade.

FIT Treadmill Score
The results reveal that among people of the same age and gender, fitness levels – as measured by metabolic equivalents (METs) – and peak heart rate reached during exercise were the greatest indicators of death risk.

“The notion that being in good physical shape portends lower death risk is by no means new, but we wanted to quantify that risk precisely by age, gender and fitness level, and do so with an elegantly simple equation that requires no additional fancy testing beyond the standard stress test,” says lead investigator Haitham Ahmed.

“Stress test results are currently interpreted as ‘either/or’, but we know that heart disease is a spectrum disorder. We believe our FIT score reflects the complex nature of cardiovascular health and can therefore offer important insights to both clinicians and patients.”

Under the new algorithm, dubbed the FIT Treadmill Score, people are scored between -200 and 200, with those scoring above 0 having lower mortality risk and those in the negative range facing the highest risk of dying. Patients who score 100 or higher have a 2 per cent risk of dying over the next 10 years (i.e. two out of 100 people in this group will die over the next 10 years), while those with scores between 0 and 100 face a 3 per cent risk. Those with scores between -100 and 0 face an 11 per cent risk, while those with scores lower than -100 have a 38 per cent risk.

Published along with the study is a chart depicting death risk by age, gender and fitness level, which can be printed on placards for use in doctors’ offices to guide clinical advice.

“The FIT Treadmill Score is easy to calculate and costs nothing beyond the cost of the treadmill test itself,” says senior study author Michael Blaha. “We hope that illustrating risk that way could become a catalyst for patients to increase exercise and improve cardiovascular fitness.”

Implications for gyms
Given that many people are encouraged to seek a stress test from doctors before joining health clubs or embarking on exercise, the test has potential implications for gyms in terms of boosting motivation and quantifying exercise improvements. For example, those with a high risk of death in the next decade could be shown how that risk diminishes as their fitness improves.

For more information go to: www.health-club.co.uk/mayoclinic

Edited by Katie Barnes. Email: [email protected]

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Bash: Augie Nieto with Gavin DeGraw and wife Lynne
The Bash: Augie Nieto with Gavin DeGraw and wife Lynne
The busy show floor hosted product demonstrations and launches, with 388 companies showcasing their products and services
The busy show floor hosted product demonstrations and launches, with 388 companies showcasing their products and services
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/589539_589885.jpg
Study highlights a new treadmill test that identifies a person’s risk of dying
Katie Barnes,Research, treadmill, FIT Treadmill Score, life expectancy
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