Introduction Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Western populations. In clinical practice, the goal is to identify high-risk individuals, since global CVD risk information may contribute to CVD prevention. Therefore, it is important to take into account the metabolic syndrome-related CVD risk, as well as the risk posed by traditional CVD risk factors. Several studies have shown that physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for CVD, although it is not included in the traditional cardiometabolic risk factors. Limited information exists about the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors, the role of physical activity on them and the burden of CVD in the adult female Greek population.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of physical activity on the cardiometabolic risk factors in Greek healthy adult women.
Methods Eighty eight women, aged 45.4±6.9 years, without any chronic disease, volunteered to participate in this study. All women were submitted to medical and anthropometric evaluation (measurement of waist circumference, weight, BMI and blood pressure) and laboratory testing for: total choles-terol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, glucose, CRP, apoA1 and apoB (automatic biochemical analyzer, Roche). Finally, all women filled-in a questionnaire of physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire-IPAQ).
Results Of the total sample, 60.2% had a positive family his-tory of CVD, 46.6% were smokers and 9.1% alcohol drink-ers. Physical activity, based on the IPAQ, was found to have a mixed impact on the traditional cardiometabolic risk factors, by affecting mainly the levels of total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. There was no correlation found among physical activity, blood pressure and the rest of the studied biochemical parameters in women.
Conclusions Increased physical activity can reduce the car-diometabolic risk and improve the lipid profile in Greek adult women. Our results indicated that regular physical activity of any kind is essential for fitness and health. All health care professionals are encouraged to inform, consult and motivate individuals to be active.
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