Peter F. Kokkinos

Physiologist - Cardiology - Medical Service at Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
Department of Veterans Affairs
HQ Phone:
(800) 827-1000
Wrong Peter Kokkinos?

Last Updated 11/29/2017

General Information


Doctorate  - Exercise Physiology , University of Maryland , School of Public Health

Ph.D.  - Georgetown


Director  - Exercise Testing

Exercise Capacity  - METs

Fellow  - American Heart Association Inc

Fellow  - American College of Sports Medicine

Web References  

Statins Plus Exercise Best at Lowering Cholesterol, Study Finds | Interesting Health Articles & Facts- IHAFS

"The reduction in death is independent; whatever statins do is independent of what exercise does," said lead researcher Peter Kokkinos, a professor in the cardiology department at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
"When you combine the two, you get even better results," he said. "If you are taking statins, your mortality is about 35 percent lower versus not taking statins, but if you exercise, your mortality level decreases as your fitness level increases to the point where you can reach a 70 percent reduction in mortality." Kokkinos is talking about regular moderate exercise - not vigorous workouts. "Thirty minutes a day of brisk walking - not a whole lot," he said. Statin drugs include Lipitor (atorvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin). Some people can't take statins because of side effects, Kokkinos said. "For these people, exercise alone reduces your risk just as much, if not more, than statins," he said. However, he stressed, "we do not recommend that people do not take their statins." Exercise works by stressing the body making it stronger, Kokkinos said. It's an evolutionary adaptation to protect the body from being overcome by changing stressors, he said. "Get off the couch - walk," Kokkinos said. "About 150 minutes a week of brisk walking is all you need." The report was published online in the Nov. 28 edition of The Lancet. For the study, Kokkinos' team analyzed the medical records of more than 10,000 veterans with high cholesterol levels treated in Veterans Affairs hospitals in Washington D.C., and Palo Alto, Calif. Of these, 9,700 were men and 343 were women. SOURCES: Peter Kokkinos, Ph.D., professor, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., spokesman, American Heart Association, and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 28, 2012, The Lancet, online

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Getting in Shape Reduces Death Risk - who'd have guessed? - WeeksMD

"A little bit of exercise goes a long way," said Peter Kokkinos, lead author of the study.
"Exercise is just as beneficial to African-Americans, in fact in some cases it might be more," said Kokkinos, director of Exercise Testing and Research Lab in the cardiology department at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington. Experts say that the study's strengths include its size and that all participants had the same access to health care since they were VA patients. The researchers, however, didn't know the cause of death or how physically active the veterans were. Kokkinos said the veterans took the exercise treadmill tests for various reasons, including everything from annual checkups to complaints of chest pain. He said they excluded anyone with serious problems.

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Exercise More, Live Longer

Lead author Peter Kokkinos of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington said the Veterans Affairs study is the largest known study to assess the link between fitness and mortality.
"It is important to emphasize that it takes relatively moderate levels of physical activity-like brisk walking-to attain the associated health benefits," Kokkinos said in a statement. "Certainly, one does not need to be a marathon runner. This is the message that we need to convey to the public." Kokkinos and colleagues investigated exercise capacity as an independent predictor of overall mortality in 6,749 African-American men and 8,911 Caucasian men, who were tested by treadmill test and were tracked for an average of 7.5 years. The study, published in the Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, found men who achieved "very highly fit" levels had a 70 percent lower risk of death compared to those in the "low fit" category. "Our findings show that the risk of death is cut in half with an exercise capacity that can easily be achieved by a brisk walk of about 30 minutes per session five to six days per week," Kokkinos added.

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