Conference Coverage

Postmenopausal women: Walk farther and faster to reduce heart failure risk


Key clinical point: Urge older female patients to walk briskly at least twice a week.

Major finding: Patients with a fast pace had a 38% lower risk of heart failure.

Study details: A long-term, national observational study of 89,270 women.

Disclosures: The Women’s Health Initiative is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The investigators reported no relevant conflicts of interest.

Source: Rasla S et al. ACC 18, Poster 1315M-03.



Brisk walking for at least 40 minutes two or three times a week reduced the risk of heart failure by approximately 25% in postmenopausal women, according to data from more that 89,000 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative.

The benefits of walking are well understood, said Somwail Rasla, MD, of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., but he and his colleagues focused for the first time on how the speed, frequency, and duration of walking affected health in older women who may be less likely to visit a gym or engage in a formal exercise program.

woman walking iStock/thinkstockphotos
“The more they walk, the higher the speed, and the longer the duration, the less likely they are to have heart failure,” Dr. Rasla said in a press briefing in advance of the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers followed the women, aged 50-79 years, for approximately 10 years.

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