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Brisk Walking Reduces Risk of Heart Attack in Women

Embargoed for Release:
August 25, 1999, 5:00 PM EDT

Next week's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine contains a paper on a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) - funded study that compares walking with vigorous exercise in the prevention of coronary heart disease in women. This analysis from the Nurses' Health Study found that brisk walking can reduce the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks in women to the same degree as vigorous exercise.

JoAnn Manson, M.D., Dr.P.H., and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston report: "Our results suggest that ... brisk walking for three or more hours per week ... could reduce the risk of coronary events in women by 30 or 40 percent." The authors estimate that one third of coronary events among middle-aged women in the United States result from physical inactivity.

Dr. Teri Manolio, director of NHLBI's Epidemiology and Biometry Program, is available to comment on the importance and public health implications of this study. To arrange an interview with Dr. Manolio, please call the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236.