Researchers at Ut Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have found that how fast a middle-aged man can run a mile may determine his risk of heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years.
For the study, researchers collected information from 11,000 men who underwent a clinical exam and a treadmill exercise test at Cooper Clinic in Dallas between 1970 and 1990.
They found that 1,106 of them died of heart attack or stroke before 2006. After analysing the data they were able to predict a man’s risk of developing heart disease based on his running time.
The study found a 55-year-old man who took 15 minutes to run a mile had a 30% lifetime risk of dying from heart disease. In contrast , a 55-year-old who could run a mile in eight minutes had a risk of less than 10%.
The researchers found that a higher fitness level lowered the lifetime risk of heart disease even in people with other risk factors in their study.