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Physical activity and clustered cardiovascular disease risk factors in young children: a cross-sectional study (the IDEFICS study)
University of Zaragoza, Spain.
Research Centre National Institute for Health Development, Estonia.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4934-8684
University of Bremen, Germany.
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2013 (English)In: BMC Medicine, ISSN 1741-7015, E-ISSN 1741-7015, Vol. 11, article id 172Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The relevance of physical activity (PA) for combating cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in children has been highlighted, but to date there has been no large-scale study analyzing that association in children aged ≤9 years of age. This study sought to evaluate the associations between objectively-measured PA and clustered CVD risk factors in a large sample of European children, and to provide evidence for gender-specific recommendations of PA.

METHODS: Cross-sectional data from a longitudinal study in 16,224 children aged 2 to 9 were collected. Of these, 3,120 (1,016 between 2 to 6 years, 2,104 between 6 to 9 years) had sufficient data for inclusion in the current analyses. Two different age-specific and gender-specific clustered CVD risk scores associated with PA were determined. First, a CVD risk factor (CRF) continuous score was computed using the following variables: systolic blood pressure (SBP), total triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC)/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) ratio, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and sum of two skinfolds (score CRFs). Secondly, another CVD risk score was obtained for older children containing the score CRFs + the cardiorespiratory fitness variable (termed score CRFs + fit). Data used in the current analysis were derived from the IDEFICS ('Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS') study.

RESULTS: In boys <6 years, the odds ratios (OR) for CVD risk were elevated in the least active quintile of PA (OR: 2.58) compared with the most active quintile as well as the second quintile for vigorous PA (OR: 2.91). Compared with the most active quintile, older children in the first, second and third quintiles had OR for CVD risk score CRFs + fit ranging from OR 2.69 to 5.40 in boys, and from OR 2.85 to 7.05 in girls.

CONCLUSIONS: PA is important to protect against clustering of CVD risk factors in young children, being more consistent in those older than 6 years. Healthcare professionals should recommend around 60 and 85 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous PA, including 20 min/day of vigorous PA.Please see related commentary: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/173.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 11, article id 172
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-28019DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-172ISI: 000322541600001PubMedID: 23899208Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84887905682OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-28019DiVA, id: diva2:639856
Available from: 2013-08-10 Created: 2013-08-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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