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Physical activity, the Framingham risk score and risk of coronary heart disease in men and women of the EPIC-Norfolk study

      Abstract

      Objective

      Test the hypothesis that considering leisure-time and work-related physical activity habits in addition to the Framingham risk score (FRS) would result into better classification of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk than FRS alone.

      Methods

      Prospective, population-based study of 9564 men and 12165 women aged 45–79 years followed for an average of 11.4 years. A modified FRS which takes into account physical activity (evaluated using a validated lifestyle questionnaire taking into account leisure-time and work-related physical activity) was computed.

      Results

      During follow-up, 2191 CHD events occurred. Among 3369 men who were classified as intermediate risk (event rate of 12.4%) according to the FRS, 413 were reclassified into the low-risk category and 279 were reclassified into the high-risk category after modification of the FRS. After reclassification of these men, CHD event rate was of 5.3% and 18.6%, respectively for men classified at low and high CHD risk. Among 4766 women initially classified as intermediate risk (event rate of 8.4%), 1282 were reclassified into the low-risk category whereas 1071 women were reclassified into the high-risk category. After reclassification of these women, CHD event rate was of 6.8% and 12.2%, respectively for women classified at low and high CHD risk.

      Conclusions

      Results of the present study suggest that asking simple questions about leisure-time and work-related physical activity which can be rapidly obtained by any physician at no cost could be helpful in the estimation of patients’ CHD risk.

      Keywords

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