Cardiorespiratory fitness is not associated with risk of venous thromboembolism: a cohort study

Setor K. Kunutsor*, Timo H. Mäkikallio, Claudio G.S. Araújo, Sae Young Jae, Sudhir Kurl, Jari A. Laukkanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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The inverse and independent association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and arterial thrombotic disease is well established. However, the potential association between CRF and venous thromboembolism (VTE) is not well known. We aimed to assess the prospective association of CRF with the risk of VTE.

Cardiorespiratory fitness, as measured by maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), was assessed using a respiratory gas exchange analyser in 2,249 men aged 42-61 years without a history of VTE at baseline in the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease prospective cohort. Cox-regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for VTE. We corrected for within-person variability in CRF levels using data from repeat measurements taken several years apart.

There were 144 (6.4%) incident VTE events recorded during a median follow-up of 25.2 years. The age-adjusted regression dilution ratio of CRF was 0.58 (95% CI: 0.53 to 0.64). The risk of VTE did not decrease per 1 standard deviation increase in CRF in age-adjusted analysis (HR 0.90; 95% CI 0.75–1.08). The association remained consistent on analyses adjusted for several established and emerging risk factors (HR 0.90; 95% CI 0.73–1.12). The corresponding adjusted HRs were 0.80 (95% CI: 0.52-1.23) and 0.82 (95% CI: 0.51-1.32) respectively, when comparing the extreme tertiles of CRF levels.

In a middle-aged Caucasian male population, CRF was not associated with future risk of VTE. Further studies in women and other age-groups are required to confirm and to generalize these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Cardiovascular Journal
Issue number5
Early online date20 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019


  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • cohort study
  • maximal oxygen uptake
  • venous thromboembolism


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