Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Exercise Linked to Longer Survival

The study is not the first to find fitness among the elderly to be one of the best predictors of survival.

In research reported in 2006, Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh found an inability to walk 400 meters, or about a quarter of a mile, to be associated with an increased risk of death in people between the ages of 70 and 79.

Newman tells WebMD that while fitness appears to be a more important predictor of survival in older people than weight, many unanswered questions remain, such as why obesity appears less dangerous in this age group than in younger people.

"It may be that that the diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, are already evident by late middle age," she says.

Because it was also not clear how long the obese people in the study had been overweight, she adds that their improved survival may not reflect the dangers of a lifetime of obesity.

"People definitely don't need an excuse to gain weight," she tells WebMD. "But we have found that heavier older people do not appear to be as sick."

Blair says public health messages aimed at keeping older people healthy should focus more on physical activity and less on weight loss.

Walking or engaging in similar exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week is enough for older people to achieve moderate physical fitness, he says.

"The message these days is that obesity is the worst public health crisis we've ever faced," he says. "If physical activity gets mentioned, it is usually thrown in as an afterthought. But our research over the last dozen years, including this study, shows that physical activity and fitness play a big role in health."

WebMD Health News

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds