Energy expenditure, cigarette smoking, and blood pressure level as related to death from specific diseases.
To assess the roles of energy expenditure, cigarette smoking and blood pressure level on risk of death from specific diseases, a 22 year followup study of 3,686 longshoremen was conducted. Beginning in 1951, smoking pattern and blood pressure status were established; job activity was assessed annually during the followup period. It was found that low energy expenditure increased the risk of heart attack and, possibly, stroke; cardiovascular diseases, diabetes melitus, and cirrhosis were associated with higher systolic blood pressure levels; and increased risk of death from heart attack, cancer, chronic obstructive respiratory disease and pneumonia resulted from heavy cigarette smoking. The findings are believed to imply that sedentary living leads most often to heart disease and stroke; that the toxicity of cigarette smoking can result in a broad range of diseases including heart attack, cancer, and respiratory ailments; and that of the three characteristics studied, high systolic blood pressure is related to the broadest range of cardiovascular disease.