Heidelberg: People who first start exercising late in life still cut the risk of heart disease, according to new research from the German University of Heidelberg.
Beginning exercise in the 40s results in a 55 per cent less likelihood of being diagnosed with heart disease. But people who have been active all their lives are the least likely to suffer problems at around 60 per cent.
The research team looked at 312 adults aged between 40 and 68 with heart disease and compared them with 479 healthy people. Those with heart disease were also far more likely to smoke, have diabetes and high blood pressure.
One in ten with heart disease said they took no exercise compared to one in teenty who did not. The results of the research are published in the medical journal Heart.
Lead researcher Dr Dietrich Rothenbacher said the results also suggested that changing from a sedentary to a more active lifestyle also strongly decreased the risk of coronary heart disease.