Professor’s Research Receives Award from American Heart Association

Michael LaMonte, PhD, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions research associate professor.

Michael LaMonte, PhD, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions research associate professor

Published March 3, 2020

“We used our accelerometer measures in OPACH to estimate step counts (as opposed to acceleration forces), which has been called for by AHA and other prominent health organizations to help simplify physical activity recommendations.”
Michael LaMonte, PhD, MPH, research associate professor
School of Public Health and Health Professions Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

The American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded the Paul Dudley White International Scholar Award to an abstract co-authored by Michael LaMonte, PhD, MPH, research associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions. This prestigious award recognizes the highest ranked abstract in the United States submitted to the AHA Epidemiology and Prevention Council/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Council.

The winning abstract is from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Objective Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health (OPACH) study, reporting on accelerometer steps per day and incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in older women. The lead author is Andrea LaCroix, PhD, MPH, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at University of California San Diego; LaMonte is senior author of the study.

“We used our accelerometer measures in OPACH to estimate step counts (as opposed to acceleration forces), which has been called for by AHA and other prominent health organizations to help simplify physical activity recommendations,” LaMonte says. “Our findings showed statistically significantly lower risk of having a major cardiovascular event (i.e., heart attack, stroke) or dying from cardiovascular causes beginning at around 2,500 steps per day, far less than the 10,000 steps per day that has become popularized but for which scientific evidence was limited, particularly in older adults who are likely unable to achieve such high daily step counts.” LaMonte also indicated that these results, while being interesting, need confirmation in other studies that include men and younger adults, but do appear promising.

Drs. LaCroix, LaMonte and their colleagues presented data from the study at the EPI | Lifestyle 2020 Scientific Sessions Conference, March 3 to 6. They received their award at a special International Scholar Ceremony along with the winners from other countries.