The study, appearing in the Journal of the American Heart Association, looked at a participant pool of 625 individuals with an average age of 68 years.
The study team found that those who tired easily had an overall higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Then, 4.5 years later, they assessed each participant with a test that consisted of “an extremely slow walk.” Each person had to walk for 5 minutes on a treadmill set at a pace of 1.5 miles per hour. This exercise test was to examine their “fatigability.”
After studied all the data, the researchers found that those who had higher cardiovascular risk scores from years ago were more likely to report that this simple physical task was exhausting.
“Even if you’re exhausted because you have a newborn at home, this would be considered a very easy task,” says study author Jennifer Schrack, an associate professor in the epidemiology department at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD.
“It should be very light exertion. When people think the effort is more than very light, that’s informative.”
Risks of cardiovascular disease on the rise
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). While the current numbers of deaths due to CVD are high, experts believe they will increase over the next 15 years from 17.9 million in 2016 to over 23.6 million in 2030 around the world.
The American Heart Association (AHA) estimate there are 85.6 millions of people in the United States with more than one type of CVD, and approaching half of these adults are 60 years old or above.