FRIDAY, Sept. 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Weightlifting and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) are associated with a reduced risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, with the lowest risk seen for adults reporting both MVPA and weightlifting, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Jessica Gorzelitz, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues examined the association between weightlifting and mortality in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Data were included for 99,713 adults (mean age, 71.3 years) who completed the follow-up questionnaire assessing weightlifting and who were subsequently followed through 2016 (median, nine years).

The researchers found that after adjustment for MVPA, weightlifting was associated with a reduced risk for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality (hazard ratios, 0.91 and 0.91, respectively). Compared with adults reporting no aerobic MVPA or weightlifting, those who met aerobic MVPA recommendations but did not weightlift had reduced all-cause mortality risk (hazard ratio, 0.68), while the risk was even lower for those who also reported weightlifting one to two times/week (hazard ratio, 0.59). Weightlifting was associated with lower cancer mortality without adjustment for MVPA (hazard ratio, 0.85).

“These findings support meeting both the aerobic MVPA and muscle strengthening (including weightlifting) recommendations, especially targeting older adults who do not weightlift but may be currently aerobically active to maximize health and mortality outcomes,” the authors write.

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