LONDON: Walking or cycling to work may reduce the risk of dying from ischaemic heart disease or stroke, a study claims.

The study, published in the journal Heart, suggests that people who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could cut their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11 per cent.

They could also lower their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30 per cent, researchers said."More active patterns of travel were associated with a reduced risk of incident and fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in adults," said researchers, including those from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

"This is an important message for clinicians advising people about how to be physically active and reduce their risk of disease," they said.

The researchers used data on 358,799 participants in the UK Biobank, a national population based study designed to measure and track the health of adult residents of primarily urban areas in the UK.

Data was studied on these people between 2006 and 2010. People were followed up for an average of seven years.

Analysis of the data showed that regular commuters with more active patterns of travel on the commute had a 11 per cent lower risk of incident CVD and 30 per cent lower risk of fatal CVD, researchers said.

Those regular commuters who also had more active patterns of commute and non-commute travel combined had an even lower risk of fatal CVD - 43 per cent less risk, they said.

Among people who were not regular commuters, more active patterns of travel were associated with an 8 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality.

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