The Best Predictor of Death

Landmark study reveals the best predictor of death rates.

According to the March 14th, 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers tested and followed a group of over 6000 men, with an average age of 59. at the outset of the study, the researchers gathered routine medical data and tested for peak exercise capacity on the tread mill. Individuals were them followed for 6 years. during that period, some 20% of the men dies. After reviewing the date, researchers found that next to age, the best predictor of mortality was peak exercise on the tread mill test. The results were fascinating:

In both healthy subjects and those with cardiovascular disease, the peak exercise capacity achieved was a stronger predictor of an increased risk of death than clinical variables or established risk factors such as hypertension, smoking, and diabetes, as well as other exercise-test variables. A man’s peak exercise capacity as measured on a treadmill test is a powerful predictor of how long he will live, more powerful than established risk factors such as hypertension, smoking, or high cholesterol.


In other words, if you’ve got the capacity to go long and hard an uphill-slanting treadmill, you’re probably going to live a long time, regardless of what other numbers say.
It’s function that matters.

The study also had another interesting result. The survivors had a significantly higher body mass index than the men who died. In other words, those who were heavy and fit lived longer than those who were skinny and out of shape.