Slow walking seniors more at risk for cardiovascular disease, report finds

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Seniors who walk quickly are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than their slower walking peers, a new study finds.

Researchers at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris measured the walking speed of more than 3,200 seniors aged 65 to 85. Over the next five years, follow-up exams tracked the participants' health information. Seniors with a slower gait were 44% more likely to die during the study and three times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease than the quicker walking seniors, according to the report.

Walking speed has long been an indicator of risk of future frailty and other adverse health conditions among seniors, researchers note. This new study shows for the first time a clear link between slower walking and cardiovascular disease. The report appears in the Nov 10 online edition of BMJ.