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The study included 5,900 older adults of an average age of 72 years. There were 384 regular golfers among the study population, and of these, 41.9 percent were men. The participants were all followed up, and during this period, there were 8.1 percent and 9.8 percent strokes and heart attacks respectively among the golfers. The risk of deaths among golfers and non-golfers showed that there was a 15.1 percent risk of death among golfers compared to 24.6 percent death risk among non-golfers.
Qureshi explained, "While walking and low-intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf. Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health. Another positive is that older adults can continue to play golf, unlike other more strenuous sports such as football, boxing and tennis. Additional positive aspects are stress relief and relaxation, which golf appears better suited for than other sports."
At present, the team is looking at the direct impact of this sport on the risk of heart attacks and strokes in cohorts or large populations. They are analyzing the health parameters that could influence the effects of golf on overall health and the risk of death. The team said that their aim would also be to stratify if the golfers were walking down the course or taking the golf carts and the exact amount of exercise they were getting and its relationship with the risk of deaths.
According to the Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), 7.8 million adults have had a stroke once in their lives, and this makes up for 3.1 percent of the total population. Similarly, one person dies of heart disease every 37 seconds in the United States, and one in four deaths is due to heart disease, says the CDC. Every year around 805,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack, and it still remains one of the largest killers. Atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and other heart disease markers remain the top risk factors for stroke and heart attacks.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), lack of regular physical activities is associated with 250,000 deaths each year, and lack of physical activity remains one of the five greatest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise leads to a reduction in body weight, reduction in high blood pressure, reduction in bad or LDL cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol, improvement in good or HDL cholesterol, and improvement in insulin sensitivity, says the AHA. Source:
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