Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Heart Disease and Physical Activity
Simon L. Bacon & James A. Blumenthal
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for over half of all deaths, with an estimated economic cost of more than $320 billion per year. Physical inactivity is a risk factor that may be modifiable and could result in significant reductions in the incidence of CHD. Although it was not until 1992 that the American Heart Association declared physical inactivity to be an independent risk factor for the development of CHD, a number of epidemiological studies conducted over the past four decades have demonstrated an inverse relationship between the level of physical activity and the risk of developing CHD. Moreover, it has been consistently reported that approximately 80% of American adults undertake insufficient amounts of physical activity to gain any health benefit. Physical inactivity may also be disproportionately high in women, minorities, and individuals with lower socioeconomic status. Systematic increases in physical ...