You May Test Your Heart Health by Climbing Stairs

Recent research, conducted by scientists from University Hospital A Coruña, Spain, and presented at a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), suggests that climbing four flights of stairs in less than a minute is an indicator of good heart health.You May Test Your Heart Health by Climbing StairsFor the study, researchers recruited 165 patients who had known or suspected coronary artery disease with symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath during exertion. Participants walked or ran on a treadmill, and exercise capacity was measured as metabolic equivalents (METs). After 15-20 minute rest, patients had to climb four flights of stairs, or 60 stairs, at a fast pace without stopping.The scientists analyzed the relationship between METs achieved during exercise testing and the time it took to climb four flights of stairs. Those patients who climbed the stairs in less than 40-45 seconds achieved more than 9-10 METs. Previous studies have shown that 10 METs during an exercise test is associated with a low mortality rate (1% or less per year, or 10% in 10 years). And patients who spent 1.5 minutes or longer to climb the stairs achieved less than 8 METs, which translates to a mortality rate of 2-4% per year, or 30% in 10 years. 

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