Four Harvard Chan School studies among ‘most discussed’ of 2019

Studies led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health scientists on the health benefits of physical activity, and on the damage measles delivers to the immune systems of unvaccinated children were among the “most discussed” research papers in 2019, according to the data science company Altmetric. Its Altmetric Top 100 lists the scholarly articles published in the last year that received the most mentions in mainstream media, social media, and other online sources.

The study “Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men,” published online February 15 in JAMA Network Open, ranked #26 on the list. Harvard Chan School authors include Justin Yang, Costas Christophi, Dorothee Baur, and Stefanos Kales. They found that middle-aged men who were able to complete more than 40 push-ups had a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease outcomes—including diagnoses of coronary artery disease and major events such as heart failure—during 10 years of follow-up compared with those who were able to do less than 10 push-ups during the baseline exam.

Learn more: Push-up capacity linked with lower incidence of future cardiovascular disease events among men (Harvard Chan School press release)

Number 35 on the list was “Measles virus infection diminishes preexisting antibodies that offer protection from other pathogens,” published online November 1 in Science. First author Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology, and colleagues found that measles can wipe out the immune system’s memory of previous illnesses, making those who recover susceptible to infections they may have been protected from before contracting the virus.

Learn more: Measles can wipe out immune system memory, increase vulnerability to other infections (Harvard Chan School news)

Two studies co-authored by I-Min Lee, professor in the Department of Epidemiology, found that even small amounts of physical activity can improve health and longevity in older adults. “Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women,” published May 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine, was #48 on the list. Harvard Chan School’s Julie Buring was a co-author. “Dose-response associations between accelerometry measured physical activity and sedentary time and all cause mortality: systematic review and harmonised meta-analysis,” published August 21 in BMJ, was #91.

Learn more: 10,000 steps not a magic number for fitness (Harvard Chan School news)