Doctors should measure cardiorespiratory fitness as a key indicator of their patients’ health, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
“CRF should be something physicians measure routinely,” says Dr. Robert Ross, a Queen’s University professor who led the research. “We’re missing an opportunity to add vital information about your patient you would not otherwise know.”
Cardio respiratory fitness is a stronger predictor of mortality than established risk factors such as cigarette smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Low levels of CRF are associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality rates attributable to various cancers. Higher levels of CRF are associated with improved outcomes for certain cancers, surgical risk, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and Type 2 diabetes.