Associations between overall physical activity level and cardiovascular risk factors in an adult population
It is well established that physical activity level is inversely associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and with all-cause mortality. However, the dose–response relationship between physical activity and other cardiovascular disease risk factors is not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to explore the dose–response relationship between daily physical activity, as measured by a metabolic equivalent score, and BMI, waist circumference, waist hip ratio, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
A total of 1693 men and women, 33–64 years of age, from the 3 year follow-up of a population-based intervention study, were included in this cross-sectional study. Information on physical activity and other lifestyle factors was obtained by self-report questionnaire. Associations between activity level and biological variables were explored by general linear regression.
Data from 835 (51%) men and 805 (49%) women were included. Mean age was 50.8 years (33–64). A significant inverse association between average 24-hour physical activity level ≤45 METs and waist circumference (men p = 0.012, women p = 0.011), BMI (p = 0.0004), waist-hip-ratio (p = 0.002) and triglycerides (p = 0.0001) was found as well as a positive association with HDL (p = <0.0001). In those with an activity level above 45 METs there were no associations. No association was found with total cholesterol, LDL, systolic or diastolic blood pressure.
This study suggests a linear dose–response relationship between activity level and certain biological cardiovascular risk factors up to a threshold of a daily 24 h MET-score of 45, which corresponds to a moderate physical activity level.
KeywordsAnthropometric measures Blood pressure Dose–response Physical activity Serum lipids Questionnaire
Body mass index
High density lipoprotein
Ischemic heart disease
Low density lipoprotein
Resting energy expenditure
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 8.O’donovan G, Owen A, Kearney EM, Jones DW, Nevill AM, Woolf-May K, et␣al. Cardiovascular disease risk factors in habitual exercisers, lean sedentary men and abdominally obese sedentary men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2005Google Scholar
- 9.Jakes RW, Day NE, Khaw KT, Luben R, Oakes S, Welch A, et␣al. Television viewing and low participation in vigorous recreation are independently associated with obesity and markers of cardiovascular disease risk: EPIC-Norfolk population-based study. Eur J Clin Nutr (2003); 57:1089–96PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 15.Slentz CA, Aiken LB, Houmard JA, Bales CW, Johnson JL, Tanner CJ, et␣al. Inactivity, exercise and visceral fat. STRRIDE: a randomized, controlled study of exercise intensity and amount. J Appl Physiol 2005; 99(4): 1613–8Google Scholar
- 28.Aadahl M, Kjær M, Kristensen JH, Mollerup B, Jørgensen T. Self-reported physical activity compared with maximal oxygen uptake in adults. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 2006; In pressGoogle Scholar
- 30.Toft U, Kristoffersen LH, Lau C, Borch-Johnsen K, Jorgensen T. The Dietary Quality Score: validation and association with cardiovascular risk factors: the Inter99 study. Eur J Clin Nutr 2006; In pressGoogle Scholar
- 32.Harrell FE Jr. Further use of the Log Likelihood. In: With Applications to Linear Models, Logistic Regression, and Survival Analysis. New York: Springer, 2001Google Scholar