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Letters |

Intensity of Physical Activity and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

Janet H. Bates, MD, MPH; Mary K. Serdula, MD, MPH; Laura Kettel Khan, PhD; Deborah A. Jones, PhD, RD; Caroline A. Macera, PhD; Barbara E. Ainsworth, PhD, MPH
JAMA. 2001;285(23):2973-2974. doi:10.1001/jama.285.23.2973.
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To the Editor: Dr Lee and colleagues found that at least 1 hour of recreational walking per week was associated with lower rates of coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy female professionals aged 45 years and older who participated in no other vigorous activity.1 We are concerned that health professionals and the public could easily misinterpret the appealing take-home message of Lee et al that "no pain, no gain is passé" and assume that 1 h/wk of any walking is sufficient for reducing the risk of chronic disease. Because the cardiovascular benefits reported in the study by Lee et al occurred in minimally active women compared with women who do no activity at all, such benefits cannot be generalized to the population as a whole.

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