Cardiorespiratory fitness and future risk of pneumonia: a long-term prospective cohort study

Setor K Kunutsor, Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Jari A Laukkanen

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PURPOSE: We aimed to assess the prospective association of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) with the risk of pneumonia.

METHODS: Cardiorespiratory fitness, as measured by maximal oxygen uptake, was assessed using a respiratory gas exchange analyzer in 2244 middle-aged men in the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease cohort. We corrected for within-person variability in CRF levels using data from repeat measurements taken several years apart.

RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 25.8 years, 369 men received a hospital diagnosis of pneumonia. The age-adjusted regression dilution ratio of CRF was 0.58 (95% confidence interval: 0.53-0.63). Cardiorespiratory fitness was linearly associated with pneumonia risk. The hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for pneumonia per 1 standard deviation increase in CRF in analysis adjusted for several risk factors for pneumonia was 0.77 (0.68-0.87). The association remained consistent on additional adjustment for total energy intake, socioeconomic status, physical activity, and C-reactive protein 0.82 (0.72-0.94). The corresponding adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 0.58 (0.41-0.80) and 0.67 (0.48-0.95) respectively, when comparing the extreme quartiles of CRF levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate a graded inverse and independent association between CRF and the future risk of pneumonia in a general male population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Early online date12 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Aug 2017


  • Journal Article


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