A new study from the Summit Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai shows that there are gender differences between women and men when it comes to exercise.

Results, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), show that women can exercise less than men, yet achieve greater cardiovascular benefits.

“Women have historically and statistically lagged behind men in exercising,” says Martha Gulati, MD, director of preventive cardiology in the department of cardiology at the Summit Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, in Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine. Said the Friedman Chair. and co-lead author of the research and study. “The beauty of this study is learning that women can benefit more from every minute of moderate to vigorous activity than men. It’s an encouraging concept that we hope women take heed of.” “

The investigators analyzed data from 412,413 US adults using the National Health Interview Survey database. Between the time frame of 1997 and 2019, participants — 55% of whom were women — provided survey data about leisure-time physical activity. The investigators examined gender-specific outcomes in relation to frequency, duration, intensity and type of physical activity.

“For all adults who engaged in any regular physical activity, compared to being inactive, the risk of death was predictably lower,” said Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, Erica J. Glaser in Women’s Cardiovascular Health and Population Sciences. said the Chair, Director of the Institute. Senior author of research and studies on healthy aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Summit Heart Institute. “Interestingly, the risk of death was reduced by 24 percent in women and 15 percent in men.”

The research team then studied moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, and found that men achieved the greatest survival benefit with this level of exercise for about five hours per week. do, whereas women achieved a similar degree of survival advantage. By exercising less than about 2½ hours per week.

Similarly, when it comes to muscle-strengthening activity, such as weightlifting or core exercises, men benefited from three sessions per week and women benefited from about one session per week.

Women benefit even more if they engage in more than 2½ hours per week of moderately vigorous aerobic activity, or two or more sessions per week of muscle-strengthening activity, Cheng said. The investigators note that their findings help translate the longstanding recognition of sex-specific physiology seen in the exercise lab into the now-expanded view of sex differences in exercise-related clinical outcomes.

With all types of exercise and variables, Guilti says there is strength in recommendations based on study results. “Men get the greatest survival benefit from 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, while women get the same benefit from 140 minutes per week,” Gulati said. “Even so, women continue to gain up to 300 more minutes a week.”

Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH, chair of the department of cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute and the Lee and Harold Kapelowitz Distinguished Chair in Cardiology, says new studies like this don’t happen often.

“I hope this important research will encourage women who are not currently engaged in regular physical activity to realize that they are in a position to improve their long-term health with each increment of regular exercise. I’m worth investing in,” said Albert, professor of cardiology.

Other Cedars-Sinai authors include Tzu Yu Huang, MSc; Alan Kwan, MD; David Ouyang, MD; and Joseph Ebinger, MD. Other authors include Hongwei Ji, MD; Caitlin Casalito, PhD; Carrie L. Moreau, PhD; and Hicham Skali, MD, MSc.

Funding: This work was supported in part by NIH grants K23HL153888, K23AG058752, R21HL156132, R01HL142983, R01HL151828, R01HL131532, R01HL, U247AG, U2470, U247520 and 54AG065141, and the Erica J. Glazer Family Foundation. National Key R&D Program of China (2022YFC2502800), National Natural Science Foundation of China (82103908), Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation (ZR2021QH014), Shuimo Scholar Program of Tsinghua University, and National Postdoctoral Innovative Talent Support Program (BX20230189).