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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and the long-term risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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BACKGROUND: Good midlife cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) may reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Reverse causation may play a role if follow-up time is short. We examined the association between CRF and both incident COPD and COPD mortality in employed men with up to 46 years follow-up, which allowed us to account for reverse causality.

METHODS: Middle-aged men (n=4730) were recruited in 1970-1971. CRF was determined as VO2max by ergometer test. Categories of CRF (low, normal, high) were defined as ± 1 Z-score (± 1 SD) above or below the age-adjusted mean. Endpoints were identified through national registers and defined as incident COPD, and death from COPD. Multi-adjusted Cox models and restricted mean survival times (RMST) were performed.

RESULTS: Compared with low CRF, the estimated risk of incident COPD was 21% lower in participants with normal CRF (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.99) and 31 % lower with high CRF (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.91). Compared with low CRF, the risk of death from COPD was 35% lower in participants with normal CRF (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.91) and 62% lower in participants with high CRF (HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.61). RMST showed a delay to incident COPD and death from COPD in the magnitude of 1.3-1.8 years in normal and high CRF vs low CRF. Test for reverse causation did not alter the results.

CONCLUSION: In a population of healthy, middle-aged men, higher levels of CRF were associated with a lower long-term risk of incident COPD and death from COPD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThorax
Volume74
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)843-848
Number of pages6
ISSN0040-6376
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • COPD epidemiology, exercise

ID: 57539262