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Moderate-and-vigorous physical activity from adolescence to adulthood and subclinical atherosclerosis in adulthood: prospective observations from the European Youth Heart Study
  1. Mathias Ried-Larsen1,
  2. Anders Grøntved1,
  3. Peter Lund Kristensen1,
  4. Karsten Froberg1,
  5. Lars Bo Andersen1,2
  1. 1Research Unit for Exercise Epidemiology, Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Centre of Research in Childhood Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Mathias Ried-Larsen, Research Unit for Exercise Epidemiology, Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Centre of Research in Childhood Health, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, Odense M 5230, Denmark, mried-larsen{at}health.sdu.dk

Abstract

Aim To investigate the independent associations between mean exposure to or the change in moderate-and-vigorous physical activity (PA) from adolescence to adulthood and subclinical atherosclerosis in adulthood.

Methods This was a prospective cohort study among Danish boys and girls (N=277) followed for up to 12 years (age 15.7 (0.4) at baseline) enrolled in the European Youth Heart Study. PA intensity was objectively measured at baseline and follow-up, and ultrasonography was performed on the Carotid arteries at follow-up. Data on carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), Carotid Compliance and Young's Elastic Modules were used as outcome measures.

Results In the multivariable analyses (adjusted for personal—lifestyle and demographic factors) the mean exposure to moderate-and-vigorous PA from adolescence to adulthood was negatively associated with Young's Elastic Modules (β=−0.001×103 kPa (95% CI −0.0015 to −0.0002), p=0.02) and positively associated with Carotid Compliance (β=0.004 mm2 kPa−1 (95% CI 0.002 to 0.008), p=0.003) and cIMT (β=0.0003 mm (95% CI 0.00001 to 0.0007), p=0.013). Increases in moderate-and-vigorous PA from adolescence to adulthood were negatively associated with Young's Elastic Modules in adulthood (β=−0.00007×103 kPa (95% CI −0.0012 to −0.0001), p=0.01). Furthermore, participants with the largest decline in moderate-and-vigorous PA from adolescence to adulthood displayed significantly less compliant arteries compared with the remaining sample (p<0.05).

Conclusions High mean exposure to moderate-and-vigorous PA levels and increases herein were independently associated with lower levels of carotid arterial stiffness in adulthood.

  • Cardiovascular
  • Cardiovascular epidemiology
  • Children's health and exercise
  • Exercise
  • Health promotion through physical activity

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