(NBC News) — For a glimpse into the state of your health and longevity, just head for some stairs.
How people perform on an exercise test that requires them to move very briskly can predict their risk of premature death from heart disease, cancer and other causes, a study presented Thursday at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology found.
Those with good exercise capacity — capable of high levels of physical exertion, say, on a treadmill — had less chance of dying early of any cause.
The participants in the study underwent an exercise echocardiogram, but there’s a much easier method to check your exercise capacity in a similar way: See if you can climb four flights of stairs at a fast pace — in under a minute — without having to stop, said Dr. Jesús Peteiro, the study author and a cardiologist at University Hospital A Coruña in A Coruña, Spain. (…)