Leisure time and occupational physical activity, resting heart rate, and mortality in the Arctic region of Norway: The Finnmark Study
Aims - This study examined the association of leisure time physical activity, occupational physical activity, and resting heart rate with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality in Sami and non-Sami populations.
Study design - This was a longitudinal, observational population-based study.
Methods - The Finnmark 3 study cohort was examined in 1987–1988 and followed for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality for 26 years. The cohort included 17,697 men and women with a mean age of 47.2 years at baseline. Leisure time physical activity and occupational physical activity were assessed with a validated questionnaire at baseline, whereas cause of death was obtained from the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry.
Results - A total of 1983 women and 3147 men died during follow-up. Leisure time physical activity was linearly and inversely associated with all-cause mortality, but not coronary heart disease mortality. Compared to inactive subjects, all-cause mortality was significantly reduced by 16% in the active leisure time physical activity group (hazard ratio 0.84; 95% confidence interval 0.76–0.92). Both for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, we observed a U-shaped relationship with occupational physical activity, as participants in the walking and lifting group had significantly lower mortality than both the mostly sedentary and the heavy manual labour group (p < 0.05). An increase in resting heart rate by one beat per minute was associated with a 1.1% increase in all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 1.011; 95% confidence interval 1.009–1.013). The associations were similar in Sami and non-Sami subjects.
Conclusion - In this population-based study, leisure time physical activity was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, whereas resting heart rate was positively associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. There was a U-shaped association between occupational physical activity and cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.