Update to the 2016 American Heart Association cardiorespiratory fitness statement

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Progress in cardiovascular diseases




All-cause mortality; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Cardiovascular disease; Exercise


In 2016 the American Heart Association published a scientific statement that summarized a large body of evidence concluding that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was a powerful marker of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD-mortality risk; its association with morbidity and mortality was independent of commonly obtained risk factors, and consequently, that it should be a routine measure in all health care settings. Since 2016 the interest in CRF as a prognostic for human health and performance has increased exponentially. This review will summarize a growing body of evidence that reinforces the notion that the assessment of CRF improves patient/client management. Feasible means of CRF assessment in health care settings is considered, and the expected response of CRF to exercise consistent with consensus recommendations is reviewed. The association between CRF and health care costs is also explored. The evidence reviewed will reinforce the conclusions drawn in 2016; that overwhelming evidence demands that CRF should be a routine assessment in all health care settings - a vital sign.


Clinical Research and Leadership