Driving to work boosts MI risk four fold

Driving to work, rather than cycling or walking, increases men's risk of suffering a myocardial infarction, new research suggests.

Photograph: istockphoto
Photograph: istockphoto

Patrik Wennberg, from Umeå University in Sweden, compared 651 cases of MI with 2,238 matched controls. He then looked for novel lifestyle factors and biomarkers that might predict incidence of coronary heart disease.

There was an increased risk of up to four times for myocardial infarction for those who commuted by car, compared with ‘active’ commuters who cycled, walked or took the bus.

‘Active commuting may be a feasible way to achieve the recommended guidelines of 30 minutes daily physical activity,’ he said. ‘This mode of regular physical activity has several advantages; it is environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and can be integrated in daily life.’

The study also identified eight key haemostatic and inflammatory markers which could improve ability to predict future myocardial infarctions beyond that of models using only established risk factors.

gpletters@haymarket.com

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