Background Inability to meet minimal guidelines on physical activity is associated with poor health outcomes, but quantifying activity can be complex. We studied whether a simple question regarding participation in regular activity improves risk classification for all-cause mortality. Methods Maximal exercise testing was performed in 6962 patients (mean age, 58.9 ± 11 years) for clinical reasons. Subjects also were assessed for participation in regular activity using a simple yes/no response to meeting minimal recommendations on activity. The incremental value of adding a simple physical activity assessment to clinical, demographic, and exercise test information to predict mortality was determined using Cox proportional hazards models, net reclassification improvement, and integrated discrimination index during a mean follow-up of 9.7 ± 4 years. Results Subjects who did not meet the minimal guidelines on activity had a lower exercise capacity (7.4 ± 4.3 vs 9.1 ± 3.6 metabolic equivalents, P <.0001) and a higher annual mortality rate (2.42% vs 1.71%, P <.001). Not meeting activity guidelines was associated with an age-adjusted 36% higher risk of mortality (hazard ratio, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.22-1.51, P <.0001). Among clinical and exercise test variables, fitness had the highest C-index for predicting mortality (0.72, P <.001). The addition of physical activity classification to a model including traditional risk factors resulted in a net reclassification improvement of 22.8% (P <.001); adding fitness to the traditional risk factor model resulted in a net reclassification improvement of 43.5% (P <.001). Conclusions The addition of a simple assessment of physical activity status significantly improves reclassification of risk for all-cause mortality among patients who are referred for exercise testing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Exercise capacity
- Exercise testing
- Physical inactivity