HealthDay News — Regular physical activity is associated with lower pneumonia risk in the general population, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in GeroScience.

Setor K. Kunutsor, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to evaluate the magnitude and specificity of the prospective association between regular physical activity and the future risk for pneumonia.

Based on 10 prospective cohort studies (1.04 million participants), the researchers found that the risk for pneumonia was lower for the most versus the least physically active groups (relative risk, 0.69). Specifically, for incident pneumonia, the relative risk was 0.82, while for pneumonia-related mortality, the relative risk was 0.64. No heterogeneity or publication bias was seen, and the quality of the evidence ranged from moderate to low.

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“Physical activity types that are attractive to and feasible for high-risk populations need to be identified and encouraged,” the authors write.

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