After further analysis, the scientists calculated that men who could do more than 40 pushups had a 96 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events compared with those who were able to do less than 10.
"Our findings provide evidence that pushup capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk in almost any setting," first author Justin Yang said in statement.
Furthermore, pushup capacity was more strongly associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease events than treadmill performance.
The team did note some limitations. They only evaluated middle-aged men, so results may differ for women or men of other ages.
Nevertheless, they believe their findings are strong.
“This study,” senior author Stefanos Kales said, “emphasizes the importance of physical fitness on health, and why clinicians should assess fitness during clinical encounters.”