Spending More Time Outdoors Tied to a Higher Risk of MI and Stroke

Pavankumar Kamat


June 07, 2021


  • Spending >3.5 hours/day outdoors was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke compared with spending <1.5 hours/day outdoors.

Why this matters

  • Findings emphasise the importance of considering the potential harmful effects of the urban environment on cardiovascular health.

  • Further studies are warranted to determine the role of pollution in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Study design

  • This longitudinal analysis included 431,146 middle- and old-aged participants (age, 40-69 years) from the UK Biobank who were followed for a median time of 7 years.

  • Time spent outdoors was self-reported and participants were categorised into 4 groups based on how much time they spent outdoors:

    • reference group (<1.5 hours/day);

    • group 2 (1.5-2.4 hours/day);

    • group 3 (2.5-3.5 hours/day); and

    • group 4 (>3.5 hours/day).

  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • During the median follow-up of 7 years, 4724 (1.10%) MI and 2809 (0.65%) stroke incident events were reported.

  • Spending >3.5 vs <1.5 hours/day outdoors was associated with an increased risk of (adjusted HR [aHR]; 95% CI):

    • MI (1.20; 1.06-1.36); and

    • stoke (1.14; 0.97-1.34).

  • The risk of MI was stronger in men (aHR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.09-1.47) than in women (aHR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.84-1.35).

  • The risk of stroke was higher in both men (aHR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.94-1.47) and women (aHR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.87-1.43).


  • Data on time spent outdoors and lifestyle factors were self-reported.


Miguet M, Venetis S, Rukh G, Lind L, Schiöth HB. Time spent outdoors and risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in middle and old aged adults: Results from the UK Biobank prospective cohort. Environ Res. 2021 May 19 [Epub ahead of print];199:111350. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111350. PMID: 34019889.  View abstract

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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