Can a Treadmill Help Predict How Long You’ll Live?

Cardiologists from Johns Hopkins University say their formula can predict risk of mortality over the next 10 years

When it comes to health, there are a lot of measurements doctors consider and a few different ways they go about taking these measurements, but this latest technique may be the most unorthodox yet.

According to a team of Johns Hopkins University Cardiologists, after analyzing the results of 58,000 stress tests, they’ve found a way to predict the likelihood that a person will either live or die within 10 years—based on a “Fit Treadmill Score.”

This measure of cardiovascular fitness requires a test and then doctors plug the numbers into a formula.  The test requires the subject walk on the treadmill that gets progressively faster while the incline gets progressively higher. Your doctor measures your energy output and plugs the numbers into the following formula: FIT Treadmill Score: [percentage of MPHR] + [12 x METs] – [4 x your age] + [43 if you’re a woman].

Scores from the test range from negative 200 to positive 200, with the best scores coming in above zero. The higher numbers correlated with a higher likelihood of living through the next ten years; those with the lowest numbers were less likely to live through the next decade.

Subjects who scored 100 or higher had a two percent risk of dying in the next 10 years; those with scores between 0 and 100 had a three percent chance of dying. Subjects with scores between negative 100 and 0 had an 11 percent risk of dying in the next decade; those with scores lower than negative 100 had a 38 percent risk of dying.

The authors of the study say the test should be given to each patient who gets a stress test because their test better outlines the levels of risk and it’s easy and inexpensive. They also say they hope this information will serve as motivation for people to exercise and improve their cardiovascular health.

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