WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Short-term primary care pedometer-based walking interventions can produce lasting health benefits, according to a study published online June 25 in PLOS Medicine.

Tess Harris, M.B.B.S., M.D., from St. George’s University of London, and colleagues examined trial intervention effects on long-term health outcomes relevant to walking interventions. Primary care data at four years from baseline were included from two primary care 12-week pedometer-based walking interventions. Data were obtained for 1,001 PACE-UP participants aged 45 to 75 years and for 296 PACE-Lift participants aged 60 to 75 years.

The researchers found that for interventions versus controls, the hazard ratios for time to first event after randomization were 0.24 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.07 to 0.77) for nonfatal cardiovascular events, 0.34 (95 percent CI, 0.12 to 0.91) for total cardiovascular events, 0.75 (95 percent CI, 0.42 to 1.36) for diabetes, 0.98 (95 percent CI, 0.46 to 2.07) for depression, and 0.56 (95 percent CI, 0.35 to 0.90) for fractures. For falls, the negative binomial incidence rate ratio was 1.07 (95 percent CI, 0.78 to 1.46). For nonfatal cardiovascular events, total cardiovascular events, and fractures, the absolute risk reductions were 1.7 percent (95 percent CI, 0.5 to 2.1 percent), 1.6 percent (95 percent CI, 0.2 to 2.2 percent), and 3.6 percent (95 percent CI, 0.8 to 5.4 percent), respectively.

“Short-term 12-week pedometer-based walking interventions can have long-term positive health effects and should be used more widely to help address the public health physical inactivity challenge,” the authors write.

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