Self-reported walking pace and 10-year cause-specific mortality: A UK biobank investigation

Jonathan Goldney (Lead / Corresponding author), Paddy C. Dempsey, Joseph Henson, Alex Rowlands, Atanu Bhattacharjee, Yogini V. Chudasama, Cameron Razieh, Jari A. Laukkanen, Melanie J. Davies, Kamlesh Khunti, Thomas Yates, Francesco Zaccardi

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Objective: To investigate associations of self-reported walking pace (SRWP) with relative and absolute risks of cause-specific mortality. 

Patients and methods: In 391,652 UK Biobank participants recruited in 2006–2010, we estimated sex- and cause-specific (cardiovascular disease [CVD], cancer, other causes) mortality hazard ratios (HRs) and 10-year mortality risks across categories of SRWP (slow, average, brisk), accounting for confounders and competing risk. Censoring occurred in September 30, 2021 (England, Wales) and October 31, 2021 (Scotland). 

Results: Over a median follow-up of 12.6 years, 22,413 deaths occurred. In women, the HRs comparing brisk to slow SRWP were 0.74 (95% CI: 0.67, 0.82), 0.40 (0.33, 0.49), and 0.29 (0.26, 0.32) for cancer, CVD, and other causes of death, respectively, and 0.71 (0.64, 0.78), 0.38 (0.33, 0.44), and 0.29 (0.26, 0.32) in men. Compared to CVD, HRs were greater for other causes (women: 39.6% [6.2, 72.9]; men: 31.6% [9.8, 53.5]) and smaller for cancer (−45.8% [−58.3, −33.2] and − 45.9% [−54.8, −36.9], respectively). For all causes in both sexes, the 10-year mortality risk was higher in slow walkers, but varied across sex, age, and cause, resulting in different risk reductions comparing brisk to slow: the largest were for other causes of death at age 75 years [women: −6.8% (−7.7, −5.8); men: −9.5% (−10.6, −8.4)]. 

Conclusion: Compared to slow walkers, brisk SRWP was associated with reduced cancer (smallest reduction), CVD, and other (largest) causes of death and may therefore be a useful clinical predictive marker. As absolute risk reductions varied across age, cause, and SRWP, certain groups may particularly benefit from interventions to increase SRWP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in cardiovascular diseases
Early online date30 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • Absolute risk
  • Cause of death
  • Competing risk
  • Physical fitness
  • Walking pace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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