The predictive value of cardiorespiratory fitness combined with coronary risk evaluation and the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death

J A Laukkanen, R Rauramaa, J T Salonen, S Kurl
Journal of Internal Medicine 2007, 262 (2): 263-72

BACKGROUND: There are no data on directly measured cardiorespiratory fitness combined coronary risk evaluation with respect to death from cardiovascular diseases and all-causes. We investigated the prognostic significance of risk scores and cardiorespiratory fitness with respect to cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.

METHODS: Cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen uptake, VO2peak) was measured by exercise test with an electrically braked cycle ergometer. The study is based on a random population-based sample of 1639 men (42-60 years) without history of type 2 diabetes or atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.

RESULTS: During an average follow-up of 16 years, a total of 304 deaths occurred. Independent predictors for all-cause death were European Score (for 1% increment, RR 1.15, 95% CI 1.10-1.20), VO2peak (for 1 MET increment, RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.78-0.89), when adjusted for C-reactive protein, alcohol consumption, serum high-density lipoprotein, waist-to-hip ratio, family history of coronary heart disease, exercise-induced ST changes and the use of medications for hypertension, dyslipidaemia or aspirin. Also, Framingham risk score was related to the risk of death (RR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.07, P < 0.001). Subjects with high European or Framingham score and low VO2peak represent the highest risk group.

CONCLUSION: An important finding is that the risk scores can be used to identify men for whom low cardiorespiratory fitness predicts an especially high risk for death from cardiovascular and any other cause.

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