A simple nonexercise model of cardiorespiratory fitness predicts long-term mortality

Bjarne Martens Nes, Lars J. Vatten, Javaid Nauman, Imre Janszky, Ulrik WislØff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a strong predictor of future health, but measurements of CRF are time consuming and involve costly test procedures. We assessed whether a simple, non-exercise-based test of CRF predicted long-term all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, we used a previously published nonexercise test to estimate CRF in healthy men (n = 18,348) and women (n = 18,764) from the first HUNT study (1984-1986) in Norway. We used Cox regression to obtain HR for mortality during a mean follow-up of 24 yr. Assessment of model validity was performed by standard procedures of discrimination and calibration. RESULTS: CRF was inversely associated with all-cause and CVD mortality in men and women below 60 yr of age at baseline, after adjustment for confounders. For each MET-higher CRF (MET, approximately 3.5 mL·kg·min), HR for CVD mortality was 21% lower in both men (95% confidence interval (CI), 17%-26%) and women (95% CI, 12%-29%). HR for all-cause mortality was 15% (95% CI, 12%-17%) lower in men and 8% (95% CI, 3%-3%) lower in women for each MET-higher CRF. The ability of the model to discriminate mortality risk among participants below 60 yr was better for CRF (area under the curve (AUC), 0.70-0.77) compared with that for each variable that constituted the model (AUC, 0.55-0.63) and an aggregated sum of z-scores for each variable (AUC, 0.61-0.65). Comparison of observed and predicted risk indicated good model calibration. CONCLUSIONS: This method of assessing CRF is feasible and practically useful in primary care for identification of apparently healthy individuals at increased risk of premature CVD disease and all-cause mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1165
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • HUNT
  • V̇O2PEAK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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