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The beneficial effect of moderate physical activity (PA) on morbidity and mortality has been observed in the general population. However, the ideal intensity of PA for improving cardiovascular longevity in Japanese general population is uncertain. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the PA and cardiovascular mortality in the general population. This longitudinal cohort study included 1,826 apparently healthy subjects who participated in a community-based health checkup. There were 31 cardiovascular deaths during 10-year follow-up. Subjects were divided into 4 groups based on the quartiles of PA (low, mild, moderate and high). Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis demonstrated that the most favorable cardiovascular prognosis was observed in subjects with moderate PA followed by those with mild PA. High PA as well as low PA were associated with higher cardiovascular mortality compared with mild and moderate PA. Noteworthy, in subjects with high PA, Cox hazard analysis revealed that previous cardiovascular disease, smoking, brain natriuretic peptide levels, and Framingham risk score were associated with cardiovascular mortality. The results suggest a U-shaped association between cardiovascular mortality and PA. Mild to moderate PA was associated with favorable cardiovascular outcomes in the Japanese general population. High PA might be associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes in subjects with a history of heart disease and high coronary risk factors.
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