Patients with hypertension and CVD have lower hospitalization risk with faster walking speeds

Published by Christian Trygstad on

In a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, results indicated that patients with heart disease were hospitalized less if they walked at a faster pace. This study was based on results of 1,078 hypertensive patients, of whom 85% also had coronary heart disease and 15% also had heart valve disease.

At the beginning of the study, all patients were instructed to walk on a treadmill for 1km at what they considered to be a moderate intensity. Then, they were separated into fast walkers (5.1km/hr), moderate walkers (3.9km/hr), and slow walkers (2.6km/hr)

“The faster the walking speed, the lower the risk of hospitalization and the shorter the length of hospital stay. Since reduced walking speed is a marker of limited mobility, which has been linked to decreased physical activity, we assume that fast walkers in the study are also fast walkers in real life.”
Dr Carlotta Merlo
University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

The study found that each 1 km/hour increase in walking speed resulted in a 19% reduction in the likelihood of being hospitalized during the three-year period. Compared to the slow walkers, fast walkers had a 37% lower likelihood of hospitalization in three years.

“Walking is the most popular type of exercise in adults. It is free, does not require special training, and can be done almost anywhere. Even short, but regular, walks have substantial health benefits. Our study shows that the benefits are even greater when the pace of walking is increased.”
Dr. Carlotta Merlo
University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy