Muscle strength may indicate heart health

April 25, 2011 2:39:32 PM PDT
A new study shows there could be a way for middle-aged men to literally "work out" their hypertension.

The research shows, the higher a person's muscle strength, the less likely they are to die from hypertension.

Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure, and it can increase a person's likelihood of stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. But authors of the new study urge middle-aged men with high blood pressure to start doing more yard work or any kind of light weightlifting to increase their muscle strength.

The 18-year study looked at more than 15,000 men, 40 years of age and older. The men who maintained their muscle strength -- typically through physical activity -- had a 34 percent lower death rate versus those whose muscle strength had deteriorated.

The study appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.