Research Study Abstract

Associations Between Objectively Measured Physical Activity Intensity Across Childhood and Measures of Sub-Clinical Atherosclerosis in Adolescence: The European Youth Heart Study

  • Presented on 25 October 2012

Aim Little is known of the longitudinal association between sub-clinical atherosclerosis from childhood to adolescence. Therefore, the aim was investigate the association between physical activity (PA) intensity across childhood and sub-clinical atherosclerosis in adolescence.

Methods This was a prospective study of a sample of 236 children (baseline age 8-10 y) with a six year follow-up. PA intensity was measured using the Actigraph activity monitor. The mean of and change in PA intensity from baseline and follow-up were used for the subsequent multiple linear regression analysis. Subclinical atherosclerosis progression was expressed as carotid intima thickness (IMT), carotid arterial stiffness or a metabolic risk z-score. The z-score included a homoeostasis model assessment score, triglycerides, total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein ratio, cardio-respiratory fitness, systolic blood pressure and the sum of four skinfolds.

Results In the multiple linear regression analysis no associations were observed between PA intensity variables and IMT nor the carotid arterial stiffness (p>0.05). Neither the change in PA intensity nor mean moderate-and-vigorous PA intensity was associated to the metabolic risk z-score in adolescence (p>0.05). However, a significant inverse association was observed between mean vigorous PA and the metabolic risk z-score in adolescence independent of gender, biological maturity, soda consumption and TV-viewing (std. beta= -0.17 p=0.01).

Conclusion Our observations suggest that high volume of vigorous PA across childhood independently associated low metabolic risk z-score, but not sub-clinical atherosclerosis progression in the carotid arteries in adolescence.


  • Mathias Ried-Larsen 1
  • Anders Grøntved 1
  • Niels Christian Møller
  • Kristian Traberg Larsen 1
  • Karsten Froberg 1
  • Lars Bo Andersen 1


  • 1

    Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Research unit for Exercise Epidemiology, Centre of Research in Childhood Health, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense, Denmark

Presented at

7th European Youth Hearty Study Scientific Symposium


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