Scientists have found that intense exercise accelerates the progression of atherosclerosis

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Scientists have found that intense exercise accelerates the progression of atherosclerosis

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Scientists from Radboud University have found that intense physical activity in professional sports is associated with calcification of the coronary arteries — a sign of atherosclerotic plaques and a high risk of cardiovascular disease. The study was published in the journal Circulation.

Exercise and physical activity reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30-40%. However, previous studies have not been able to determine the effect of exercise on the acceleration of atherosclerosis of the heart arteries and the structure of plaque.

Recent studies have shown that recreational athletes have a higher rate of coronary atherosclerosis compared with less active healthy people. The new study involved 284 middle-aged and older men over 45 years of age. The mean follow-up period between measurements of coronary artery calcification by computed tomography was 6.3 years.

Intensity of exercise, but not amount, was associated with progression of coronary atherosclerosis. Scientists suggest that more intense exercise raises catecholamine levels more, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Because of this, turbulent blood flow occurs, which accelerates the progression of atherosclerosis.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga 

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