Maintaining or increasing cardiorespiratory fitness reduces hospital admission rate
A study conducted at the University of Gothenburg found that people who maintain or increase their aerobic fitness are at a lower risk of being hospitalized in the future, particularly if they have been hospitalized previously. The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, analyzed 91,140 individuals who underwent two repeated health profile assessments. The assessments included fitness tests, measurements of weight, height and blood pressure, and questions about lifestyle and health experiences.
The results showed that individuals who maintained aerobic fitness had 7 percent fewer hospitalizations for any reason during the follow-up period, and those with improved aerobic fitness had 11 percent fewer hospitalizations compared to those whose aerobic fitness deteriorated. For hospital admissions specifically due to cardiovascular disease, maintaining aerobic fitness was associated with 9 percent fewer admissions, and increasing aerobic fitness was associated with 13 percent fewer admissions, compared to participants whose aerobic fitness deteriorated.
These findings have significant implications for healthcare, as increased physical activity, especially among people who have been hospitalized, can reduce readmissions and the burden on healthcare in the future. The study authors emphasize the potential benefits for individual health as well as the opportunity to influence societal and healthcare costs.
Elin Ekblom Bak, Associate Professor of Sport Science at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, notes that the results may not only benefit individual health but also have an impact on societal and healthcare costs. Mats Börjesson, Professor of Sports Physiology at the University of Gothenburg and senior author of the study, concludes that increased physical activity can reduce readmissions and the increased burden expected on healthcare in the future. The study has been published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.