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Physical activity in older people: better late than never, but better early than late
  1. Enrico Fabris,
  2. Gianfranco Sinagra
  1. Cardiothoracovascular Department, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Gianfranco Sinagra, Cardiothoracovascular Department, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy; gianfranco.sinagra{at}

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) still represents the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the world1; therefore, effective preventive strategies are needed. It is well known that physical activity (PA), regardless of sex, or ethnicity is associated with increased longevity and decreased risk of CVD.2 However, studies that have investigated PA exclusively in the elderly remain scarce. As a consequence, opportunities remain to refine our understanding of the association of PA, and dose of PA, in older people, with risk of CVD. A better understanding of whether exercise in late life may still promote healthy ageing is important given the increasing life expectancy and the significant impact of CVD-related morbidity on the individual and on healthcare resources.

In the journal, Barbiellini Amidei et al3 (CIT) presented the results of the ‘Progetto Veneto Anziani-Pro.V.A’ study which evaluated a cohort of 2754 Italians aged 65 years or older (mean age 75.1±7 years), with a baseline assessment in 1995–1997 and follow-up visits at 4 and 7 years and extended surveillance to 2018. In this cohort study, the authors evaluated whether the persistence of an active lifestyle over time, dose of PA and increasing or decreasing levels of PA (ie, PA trajectories) were associated with a reduced risk of CVD (coronary heart diseases, heart failure and stroke) and overall mortality.

The study showed that the incidence rates of cardiovascular events were lower among both active (defined as …

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  • Contributors EF: Drafting the manuscript. GS: Conception of the paper, drafting the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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