Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Mortality in an Elderly Population in Northern Manhattan: A Prospective Cohort Study

Ying Kuen Cheung, Yeseon P. Moon, Erin R. Kulick, Ralph L. Sacco, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, Joshua Z. Willey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies of exercise have focused on measuring physical activity in totality using summary statistics such as metabolic equivalent score for total intensity or total energy count. Objective: We aimed to examine the multidimensionality of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and to identify the specific LTPA components that were associated with cardiovascular mortality in the elderly. Design and Participants: The Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) is a multiethnic prospective cohort of elderly stroke-free individuals consisting of a total of 3298 participants recruited between 1993 and 2001, with a median follow-up of 17 years. Main Measures: Physical activity questionnaire data were available in 3293 NOMAS participants, who were categorized into subgroups with similar exercise patterns by model-based cluster analysis. Three subgroup-defining LTPA features were identified and were considered as primary exposures in Cox proportional hazard models: frequency of activity, number of activity types (variety), and energy-to-duration ratio (EDR). We considered cardiovascular mortality and non-cardiovascular mortality as outcomes in Cox cause-specific proportional hazard models, and all-cause mortality as outcome in Cox models. Key Results: A high activity frequency was associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio, HR = 0.93, P = 0.03), but demonstrated no effect on non-cardiovascular death. A high EDR was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death (HR = 1.30, P = 0.01). A high number of activity types was beneficial in reducing all-cause mortality (HR = 0.87, P = 0.01). Conclusions: Exercise frequency was protective against cardiovascular mortality, and a high variety of activity was protective against all-cause mortality. The performance of frequent and varied non-intense exercise in an elderly population such as ours is achievable and can reduce the risk of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • cardiovascular
  • exercise
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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