Exercise intensity appears to make no difference to risk of mortality among older adults, suggests a randomised controlled trial from Norway published by The BMJ. An international research team set out to evaluate the effect of 5 years of supervised exercise training compared with recommendations for physical activity on mortality in older adults (aged 70–77 years). The trial involved 1567 participants (790 women and 777 men) living in Trondheim, Norway, with an average age of 73 years. In total, 87.5% of participants reported overall good health and 80% reported a medium or high level of physical activity at the start of the trial. Four hundred participants were assigned to two weekly sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT), 387 were assigned to moderate intensity continuous training (MICT), and 780 to follow the Norwegian guidelines for physical activity (control group), all for 5 years. After 5 years, the overall mortality rate was 4.6% (72 participants). The researchers found no difference in all‐cause mortality between the control group (4.7%, 37 participants) and combined HIIT and MICT group (4.5%, 35 participants). They also found no differences in cardiovascular disease or cancer between the control group and the combined HIIT and MICT group. The total proportion of participants with cardiovascular disease after 5 years was 15.6%, with 16% (125 participants) in the control group, 15% (58 participants) in the MICT group, and 15.3% (61 participants) in the HIIT group.
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