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Association of physical activity in childhood and early adulthood with carotid artery elasticity 21 years later: the cardiovascular risk in Young Finns Study


Palve, KS and Pahkala, K and Magnussen, CG and Koivistoinen, T and Juonala, M and Kahonen, M and Lehtimaki, T and Ronnemaa, T and Viikari, JSA and Raitakari, OT, Association of physical activity in childhood and early adulthood with carotid artery elasticity 21 years later: the cardiovascular risk in Young Finns Study, Journal of the American Heart Association, 3, (2) Article e000594. ISSN 2047-9980 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2014 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

DOI: doi:10.1161/JAHA.113.000594


BACKGROUND: Decreased arterial elasticity is a risk factor for several cardiovascular outcomes. Longitudinal data on the effect of physical activity in youth on adult arterial elasticity are limited. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term effects of physical activity in children and young adults on carotid artery elasticity after 21 years of follow-up. METHODS AND RESULTS: Participants were 1417 children (aged 9 to 15 years) and 999 young adults (aged 18 to 24 years) from the prospective Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Participants had questionnaire measures of leisure-time physical activity available from 1986 and ultrasound-derived indices of carotid artery elasticity measured in 2007. Carotid artery elasticity indices were distensibility (%/10 mm Hg), Young's elastic modulus (kPa), and stiffness index (unitless). Physical activity at age 18 to 24 years was directly associated with distensibility (β=0.068, P=0.014) and inversely with Young's elastic modulus (β=-0.057, P=0.0037) and indirectly with stiffness index (β=-0.050, P=0.0028) 21 years later in males and females. The associations remained after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, systolic blood pressure, serum lipids and insulin, and 21-year change in physical activity. At age 9 to 15 years, the favorable association, remaining after adjustment, was found in males (distensibility [β=0.097, P=0.010], Young's elastic modulus [β=-0.060, P=0.028], and stiffness index [β=-0.062, P=0.007]) but not in females (P=0.70, P=0.85, and P=0.91, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Leisure-time physical activity in boys and young adults is associated with carotid artery elasticity later in life, suggesting that higher levels of physical activity in youth may benefit future cardiovascular health.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:atherosclerosis, exercise, prevention
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
ID Code:91127
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1037559)
Web of Science® Times Cited:50
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2014-05-08
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:322 View Download Statistics

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