Health briefs: Run your way to a longer life in 5 minutes

  • Updated: August 2, 2014 - 7:58 PM

People who jogged or ran for as little as five minutes a day reduced their risk of premature death by nearly one-third and extended their lives by about three years, a study said.

Researchers examined the exercise habits of more than 55,000 adults in the Dallas area who were monitored for six to 22 years. About 24 percent of the adults described themselves as runners.

Compared with those who didn’t run, those who did were 30 percent less likely to die of any cause during the course of the study. They were also 45 percent less likely to die as a result of cardiovascular disease, researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Put another way, non-runners were 24 percent more likely than runners to die during the study period.

“Running even at lower doses or slower speeds was associated with significant mortality benefits,” the researchers found. In order to reduce the risk of premature death, all it took was 30 to 59 minutes of running per week, the researchers calculated.

Three of the editorial’s four authors worked on a 2011 Lancet study that found that even 15 minutes of brisk walking per day could extend a person’s life expectancy. “Exercise is a miracle drug in many ways,” they wrote.

 

Statins may help esophagus

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are associated with a lower risk of Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition that can sometimes lead to esophageal cancer, a new study has found. Barrett’s esophagus is common in people who have long-term gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD.

Researchers compared 303 patients with Barrett’s esophagus to 909 controls without the syndrome. After controlling for body mass index, aspirin use, smoking status and other characteristics, the scientists found statin use was associated with a 43 percent lower risk of Barrett’s esophagus compared with controls. In obese patients, the risk was 74 percent lower.

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