Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women


High amounts of sedentary behaviour have been associated with increased risks of several chronic conditions and mortality. However, it is unclear whether physical activity attenuates or even eliminates the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting. We examined the associations of sedentary behaviour and physical activity with all-cause mortality.


We did a systematic review, searching six databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase, Web of Science, Sport Discus, and Scopus) from database inception until October, 2015, for prospective cohort studies that had individual level exposure and outcome data, provided data on both daily sitting or TV-viewing time and physical activity, and reported effect estimates for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, or breast, colon, and colorectal cancer mortality. We included data from 16 studies, of which 14 were identified through a systematic review and two were additional unpublished studies where pertinent data were available. All study data were analysed according to a harmonised protocol, which categorised reported daily sitting time and TV-viewing time into four standardised groups each, and physical activity into quartiles (in metabolic equivalent of task [MET]-hours per week). We then combined data across all studies to analyse the association of daily sitting time and physical activity with all-cause mortality, and estimated summary hazard ratios using Cox regression. We repeated these analyses using TV-viewing time instead of daily sitting time.


Of the 16 studies included in the meta-analysis, 13 studies provided data on sitting time and all-cause mortality. These studies included 1 005 791 individuals who were followed up for 2–18·1 years, during which 84 609 (8·4%) died. Compared with the referent group (ie, those sitting <4 h/day and in the most active quartile [>35·5 MET-h per week]), mortality rates during follow-up were 12–59% higher in the two lowest quartiles of physical activity (from HR=1·12, 95% CI 1·08–1·16, for the second lowest quartile of physical activity [<16 MET-h per week] and sitting <4 h/day; to HR=1·59, 1·52–1·66, for the lowest quartile of physical activity [<2·5 MET-h per week] and sitting >8 h/day). Daily sitting time was not associated with increased all-cause mortality in those in the most active quartile of physical activity. Compared with the referent (<4 h of sitting per day and highest quartile of physical activity [>35·5 MET-h per week]), there was no increased risk of mortality during follow-up in those who sat for more than 8 h/day but who also reported >35·5 MET-h per week of activity (HR=1·04; 95% CI 0·99–1·10). By contrast, those who sat the least (<4 h/day) and were in the lowest activity quartile (<2·5 MET-h per week) had a significantly increased risk of dying during follow-up (HR=1·27, 95% CI 1·22–1·31). Six studies had data on TV-viewing time (N=465 450; 43 740 deaths). Watching TV for 3 h or more per day was associated with increased mortality regardless of physical activity, except in the most active quartile, where mortality was significantly increased only in people who watched TV for 5 h/day or more (HR=1·16, 1·05–1·28).


High levels of moderate intensity physical activity (ie, about 60–75 min per day) seem to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with high sitting time. However, this high activity level attenuates, but does not eliminate the increased risk associated with high TV-viewing time. These results provide further evidence on the benefits of physical activity, particularly in societies where increasing numbers of people have to sit for long hours for work and may also inform future public health recommendations.



The Lancet, Volume 388, No. 10051, p1302–1310, 24 September 2016

Association Between Lowering LDL-C and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Among Different Therapeutic Interventions A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Importance  The comparative clinical benefit of nonstatin therapies that reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) remains uncertain.

Objective  To evaluate the association between lowering LDL-C and relative cardiovascular risk reduction across different statin and nonstatin therapies.

Data Sources and Study Selection  The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched (1966-July 2016). The key inclusion criteria were that the study was a randomized clinical trial and the reported clinical outcomes included myocardial infarction (MI). Studies were excluded if the duration was less than 6 months or had fewer than 50 clinical events. Studies of 9 different types of LDL-C reduction approaches were included.

Data Extraction and Synthesis  Two authors independently extracted and entered data into standardized data sheets and data were analyzed using meta-regression.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The relative risk (RR) of major vascular events (a composite of cardiovascular death, acute MI or other acute coronary syndrome, coronary revascularization, or stroke) associated with the absolute reduction in LDL-C level; 5-year rate of major coronary events (coronary death or MI) associated with achieved LDL-C level.

Results  A total of 312 175 participants (mean age, 62 years; 24% women; mean baseline LDL-C level of 3.16 mmol/L [122.3 mg/dL]) from 49 trials with 39 645 major vascular events were included. The RR for major vascular events per 1-mmol/L (38.7-mg/dL) reduction in LDL-C level was 0.77 (95% CI, 0.71-0.84; P < .001) for statins and 0.75 (95% CI, 0.66-0.86; P = .002) for established nonstatin interventions that work primarily via upregulation of LDL receptor expression (ie, diet, bile acid sequestrants, ileal bypass, and ezetimibe) (between-group difference, P = .72). For these 5 therapies combined, the RR was 0.77 (95% CI, 0.75-0.79, P < .001) for major vascular events per 1-mmol/L reduction in LDL-C level. For other interventions, the observed RRs vs the expected RRs based on the degree of LDL-C reduction in the trials were 0.94 (95% CI, 0.89-0.99) vs 0.91 (95% CI, 0.90-0.92) for niacin (P = .24); 0.88 (95% CI, 0.83-0.92) vs 0.94 (95% CI, 0.93-0.94) for fibrates (P = .02), which was lower than expected (ie, greater risk reduction); 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94-1.09) vs 0.90 (95% CI, 0.89-0.91) for cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors (P = .002), which was higher than expected (ie, less risk reduction); and 0.49 (95% CI, 0.34-0.71) vs 0.61 (95% CI, 0.58-0.65) for proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors (P = .25). The achieved absolute LDL-C level was significantly associated with the absolute rate of major coronary events (11 301 events, including coronary death or MI) for primary prevention trials (1.5% lower event rate [95% CI, 0.5%-2.6%] per each 1-mmol/L lower LDL-C level; P = .008) and secondary prevention trials (4.6% lower event rate [95% CI, 2.9%-6.4%] per each 1-mmol/L lower LDL-C level; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  In this meta-regression analysis, the use of statin and nonstatin therapies that act via upregulation of LDL receptor expression to reduce LDL-C were associated with similar RRs of major vascular events per change in LDL-C. Lower achieved LDL-C levels were associated with lower rates of major coronary events.

β blockers and mortality after myocardial infarction in patients without heart failure: multicentre prospective cohort study

Objective To assess the association between early and prolonged β blocker treatment and mortality after acute myocardial infarction.

Design Multicentre prospective cohort study.

Setting Nationwide French registry of Acute ST- and non-ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction (FAST-MI) (at 223 centres) at the end of 2005.

Participants 2679 consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction and without heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction.

Main outcome measures Mortality was assessed at 30 days in relation to early use of β blockers (≤48 hours of admission), at one year in relation to discharge prescription, and at five years in relation to one year use.

Results β blockers were used early in 77% (2050/2679) of patients, were prescribed at discharge in 80% (1783/2217), and were still being used in 89% (1230/1383) of those alive at one year. Thirty day mortality was lower in patients taking early β blockers (adjusted hazard ratio 0.46, 95% confidence interval 0.26 to 0.82), whereas the hazard ratio for one year mortality associated with β blockers at discharge was 0.77 (0.46 to 1.30). Persistence of β blockers at one year was not associated with lower five year mortality (hazard ratio 1.19, 0.65 to 2.18). In contrast, five year mortality was lower in patients continuing statins at one year (hazard ratio 0.42, 0.25 to 0.72) compared with those discontinuing statins. Propensity score and sensitivity analyses showed consistent results.

Conclusions Early β blocker use was associated with reduced 30 day mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction, and discontinuation of β blockers at one year was not associated with higher five year mortality. These findings question the utility of prolonged β blocker treatment after acute myocardial infarction in patients without heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction.

Trial registration Clinical trials NCT00673036.

BMJ 2016;354:i4801

FTO genotype and weight loss: systematic review and meta-analysis of 9563 individual participant data from eight randomised controlled trials

Objective To assess the effect of the FTO genotype on weight loss after dietary, physical activity, or drug based interventions in randomised controlled trials.

Design Systematic review and random effects meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised controlled trials.

Data sources Ovid Medline, Scopus, Embase, and Cochrane from inception to November 2015.

Eligibility criteria for study selection Randomised controlled trials in overweight or obese adults reporting reduction in body mass index, body weight, or waist circumference by FTO genotype (rs9939609 or a proxy) after dietary, physical activity, or drug based interventions. Gene by treatment interaction models were fitted to individual participant data from all studies included in this review, using allele dose coding for genetic effects and a common set of covariates. Study level interactions were combined using random effect models. Metaregression and subgroup analysis were used to assess sources of study heterogeneity.

Results We identified eight eligible randomised controlled trials for the systematic review and meta-analysis (n=9563). Overall, differential changes in body mass index, body weight, and waist circumference in response to weight loss intervention were not significantly different between FTO genotypes. Sensitivity analyses indicated that differential changes in body mass index, body weight, and waist circumference by FTO genotype did not differ by intervention type, intervention length, ethnicity, sample size, sex, and baseline body mass index and age category.

Conclusions We have observed that carriage of the FTO minor allele was not associated with differential change in adiposity after weight loss interventions. These findings show that individuals carrying the minor allele respond equally well to dietary, physical activity, or drug based weight loss interventions and thus genetic predisposition to obesity associated with the FTO minor allele can be at least partly counteracted through such interventions.

Systematic review registration PROSPERO CRD42015015969.

BMJ 2016;354:i4707

Addition of a non-immersive virtual reality component to treadmill training to reduce fall risk in older adults (V-TIME): a randomised controlled trial


Age-associated motor and cognitive deficits increase the risk of falls, a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Because of the significant ramifications of falls, many interventions have been proposed, but few have aimed to prevent falls via an integrated approach targeting both motor and cognitive function. We aimed to test the hypothesis that an intervention combining treadmill training with non-immersive virtual reality (VR) to target both cognitive aspects of safe ambulation and mobility would lead to fewer falls than would treadmill training alone.


We carried out this randomised controlled trial at five clinical centres across five countries (Belgium, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK). Adults aged 60–90 years with a high risk of falls based on a history of two or more falls in the 6 months before the study and with varied motor and cognitive deficits were randomly assigned by use of computer-based allocation to receive 6 weeks of either treadmill training plus VR or treadmill training alone. Randomisation was stratified by subgroups of patients (those with a history of idiopathic falls, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those with Parkinson’s disease) and sex, with stratification per clinical site. Group allocation was done by a third party not involved in onsite study procedures. Both groups aimed to train three times per week for 6 weeks, with each session lasting about 45 min and structured training progression individualised to the participant’s level of performance. The VR system consisted of a motion-capture camera and a computer-generated simulation projected on to a large screen, which was specifically designed to reduce fall risk in older adults by including real-life challenges such as obstacles, multiple pathways, and distracters that required continual adjustment of steps. The primary outcome was the incident rate of falls during the 6 months after the end of training, which was assessed in a modified intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who were assigned a treatment. This study is registered with, NCT01732653.


Between Jan 6, 2013, and April 3, 2015, 302 adults were randomly assigned to either the treadmill training plus VR group (n=154) or treadmill training alone group (n=148). Data from 282 (93%) participants were included in the prespecified, modified intention-to-treat analysis. Before training, the incident rate of falls was similar in both groups (10·7 [SD 35·6] falls per 6 months for treadmill training alone vs 11·9 [39·5] falls per 6 months for treadmill training plus VR). In the 6 months after training, the incident rate was significantly lower in the treadmill training plus VR group than it had been before training (6·00 [95% CI 4·36–8·25] falls per 6 months; p<0·0001 vs before training), whereas the incident rate did not decrease significantly in the treadmill training alone group (8·27 [5·55–12·31] falls per 6 months; p=0·49). 6 months after the end of training, the incident rate of falls was also significantly lower in the treadmill training plus VR group than in the treadmill training group (incident rate ratio 0·58, 95% CI 0·36–0·96; p=0·033). No serious training-related adverse events occurred.


In a diverse group of older adults at high risk for falls, treadmill training plus VR led to reduced fall rates compared with treadmill training alone.


European Commission.

Occurrence of death and stroke in patients in 47 countries 1 year after presenting with atrial fibrillation: a cohort study


Atrial fibrillation is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, but scant data are available for long-term outcomes in individuals outside North America or Europe, especially in primary care settings.


We did a cohort study using a prospective registry of patients in 47 countries who presented to a hospital emergency department with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter as a primary or secondary diagnosis. 15 400 individuals were enrolled to determine the occurrence of death and strokes (the primary outcomes) in this cohort over eight geographical regions (North America, western Europe, and Australia; South America; eastern Europe; the Middle East and Mediterranean crescent; sub-Saharan Africa; India; China; and southeast Asia) 1 year after attending the emergency department. Patients from North America, western Europe, and Australia were used as the reference population, and compared with patients from the other seven regions


Between Dec 24, 2007, and Oct 21, 2011, we enrolled 15 400 individuals to the registry. Follow-up was complete for 15 361 (99·7%), of whom 1758 (11%) died within 1 year. Fewer deaths occurred among patients presenting to the emergency department with a primary diagnosis of atrial fibrillation compared with patients who had atrial fibrillation as a secondary diagnosis (377 [6%] of 6825 patients vs 1381 [16%] of 8536, p<0·0001). Twice as many patients had died by 1 year in South America (192 [17%] of 1132) and Africa (225 [20%] of 1137) compared with North America, western Europe, and Australia (366 [10%] of 3800, p<0·0001). Heart failure was the most common cause of death (519 [30%] of 1758); stroke caused 148 (8%) deaths. 604 (4%) of 15361 patients had had a stroke by 1 year; 170 (3%) of 6825 for whom atrial fibrillation was a primary diagnosis and 434 (5%) of 8536 for whom it was a secondary diagnosis (p<0·0001). The highest number of strokes occurred in patients in Africa (89 [8%] of 1137), China (143 [7%] of 2023), and southeast Asia (88 [7%] of 1331) and the lowest occurred in India (20 [<1%] of 2536). 94 (3%) of 3800 patients in North America, western Europe, and Australia had a stroke.


Marked unexplained inter-regional variations in the occurrence of stroke and mortality suggest that factors other than clinical variables might be important. Prevention of death from heart failure should be a major priority in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.


Boehringer Ingelheim.

The Lancet, Volume 388, No. 10050, p1161–1169, 17 September 2016

Timing of Allergenic Food Introduction to the Infant Diet and Risk of Allergic or Autoimmune Disease A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Importance  Timing of introduction of allergenic foods to the infant diet may influence the risk of allergic or autoimmune disease, but the evidence for this has not been comprehensively synthesized.

Objective  To systematically review and meta-analyze evidence that timing of allergenic food introduction during infancy influences risk of allergic or autoimmune disease.

Data Sources  MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and LILACS databases were searched between January 1946 and March 2016.

Study Selection  Intervention trials and observational studies that evaluated timing of allergenic food introduction during the first year of life and reported allergic or autoimmune disease or allergic sensitization were included.

Data Extraction and Synthesis  Data were extracted in duplicate and synthesized for meta-analysis using generic inverse variance or Mantel-Haenszel methods with a random-effects model. GRADE was used to assess the certainty of evidence.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Wheeze, eczema, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, allergic sensitization, type 1 diabetes mellitus, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune thyroid disease, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Results  Of 16 289 original titles screened, data were extracted from 204 titles reporting 146 studies. There was moderate-certainty evidence from 5 trials (1915 participants) that early egg introduction at 4 to 6 months was associated with reduced egg allergy (risk ratio [RR], 0.56; 95% CI, 0.36-0.87; I2 = 36%; P = .009). Absolute risk reduction for a population with 5.4% incidence of egg allergy was 24 cases (95% CI, 7-35 cases) per 1000 population. There was moderate-certainty evidence from 2 trials (1550 participants) that early peanut introduction at 4 to 11 months was associated with reduced peanut allergy (RR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.11-0.74; I2 = 66%; P = .009). Absolute risk reduction for a population with 2.5% incidence of peanut allergy was 18 cases (95% CI, 6-22 cases) per 1000 population. Certainty of evidence was downgraded because of imprecision of effect estimates and indirectness of the populations and interventions studied. Timing of egg or peanut introduction was not associated with risk of allergy to other foods. There was low- to very low-certainty evidence that early fish introduction was associated with reduced allergic sensitization and rhinitis. There was high-certainty evidence that timing of gluten introduction was not associated with celiac disease risk, and timing of allergenic food introduction was not associated with other outcomes.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this systematic review, early egg or peanut introduction to the infant diet was associated with lower risk of developing egg or peanut allergy. These findings must be considered in the context of limitations in the primary studies.

JAMA. 2016;316(11):1181-1192.