Posts Tagged ‘ASCVD’

The Implications and Association of Stair Climbing with Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD)

Reporter: Arav Gandhi, Research Assistant 2, Domain Content: Cardiovascular Diseases, Series A


Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) is a condition in which cholesterol builds up in the arteries to an extent that develops long-term complications for other areas of the body and in some cases emergence of symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath are presented and reported to PCPs. This can cause a strain on daily activities such as walking and especially may be noticed when climbing stairs which represents a form of exertion related to elevation. To further understand the significance of ASCVD upon daily activities, Zimin Song et al. (2023), using a sample of 458,860 participants (55.9% female) from the UK Biobank, aimed to evaluate the intensity of stair climbing and the present risk of ASCVD. All participants had a history of ASCVD, put at risk for ASCVD, or had a recorded levels of genetic risk.

Prior to the study, all participants underwent blood tests and other necessary measurements. During the study, the researchers assessed the intensity of stair climbing through a self-reported structure in which participants were asked a set of questions addressing the duration of climbing stairs and whether they continued to climb. Additional questionnaires were administered to collect sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and health status. Following the conclusion of the study, the researchers found, with an application of statistical analysis, that over a period of 12.5 years individuals with a higher intensity of stair climbing were of younger age, female, and non-regular smokers. Moreover, those individuals exemplified a higher level of education and income along with healthier dietary habits and prolonged exercise durations. Beyond demographic characteristics, researchers found that when individuals especially those with a family history of ASCVD increased the intensity of stair climbing, the risk of ASCVD was reduced. This remained consistent across other groups of participants finding an association between the intensity of stair climbing and the risk of ASCVD.

Ultimately, given the large sample of UK adults, the findings conclude that high-intensity climbing, or climbing more than five flights of stairs daily was associated with over a 20% reduction in risk of obtaining ASCVD. Despite the variance of disease tendencies among individuals, active engagement in stair climbing can significantly reduce the risk of ASCVD in contrast to those who discontinued stair climbing leading to a higher risk of ASCVD. However, the intensity of stair climbing was limited to a threshold in which it no longer decreased the risk of ASCVD.

Simply climbing stairs can be considered a prevention strategy for ASCVD, but the application of active engagement in physical activities may be associated with reducing the risk of obtaining other diseases. For instance, the positive effects of stair climbing on reducing the risk of ASCVD may also apply to

  • atrial fibrillation,
  • diabetes, and
  • hypertension.

Other existing studies find associations with a

  • lower risk of metabolic syndrome, and even
  • mortality.

In contrast to structured sports and exercise, stair climbing proves to be an effective method with minimal equipment and low cost that allows an individual to practice cardiorespiratory fitness reducing the risks of various diseases while improving their overall standard of life. Although further studies need to be conducted on the extent to which intense stair climbing improves different areas of the body and what diseases it helps prevent, current studies prove the effects of stair climbing to be beneficial to an extent in which individuals should be encouraged in incorporate it in their daily routine yielding both short-term and long-term benefits.

To learn more about the topic, check out the article below.


Song Z, Wan L, Wang W, et al. Daily stair climbing, disease susceptibility, and risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: A prospective cohort study. Atherosclerosis. 2023:117300. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2023.117300


Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

Archive for the ‘Atherogenic Processes & Pathology’ Category

N =178 articles

Series A: e-Books on Cardiovascular Diseases

Series A Content Consultant: Justin D Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC



Etiologies of Cardiovascular Diseases:

Epigenetics, Genetics and Genomics





Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Senior Editor, Author and Curator


Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN, Editor and Curator


2.1.3 Physical Activity and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Causes
  • Biomarkrs
  • Therapies  In Two-thirds of Waking Hours Older Women are Sedentary

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN Walking and Running: Similar Risk Reductions for Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, DM, and possibly CAD

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN Cardiac Arrhythmias: A Risk for Extreme Performance Athletes

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN Preventive Medicine Philosophy: Exercise vs. Drug, IF More of the First THEN Less of the Second

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as a Tool

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP   Is it Hypertension or Physical Inactivity: Cardiovascular Risk and Mortality – New results in 3/2013

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN  2014 Epidemiology and Prevention, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Conference: San Francisco, Ca.   Conference Dates:  San Francisco, CA 3/18-21, 2014

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

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