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Lack of exercise linked to higher heart disease risk in healthy children as young as 9
Date:5/12/2011

Even healthy children as young as nine-years-old can start to show an increased risk of future heart problems if they are physically inactive, according to a study in the May issue of Acta Paediatrica.

A team of researchers from Sweden and Denmark studied 223 children 123 boys and 100 girls with an average age of 9.8 years, assessing their physical activity levels over four days.

They found that the children who were more physically active had a lower composite risk factor score for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than the children with lower amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity and vigorous physical activity.

"It is well known that physical inactivity in adults is associated with a wide range of diseases and all causes of death" says lead author Dr Tina Tanha from the Department of Clinical Sciences at Skane University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden.

"We believe that our study now demonstrates a clear clinical association between physical inactivity and multiple CVD risk factors in children. It reveals that up to 11 per cent of the variance in composite CVD risk factor scores in the children could be explained by differences in their physical activity."

The children wore an accelerometer strapped to an elastic waist belt for four consecutive days to measure physical activity levels, using parameters set by two large accelerometer studies. Children were only included in the study if they wore the belt for a minimum of eight hours a day for three days. They also underwent tests for various CVD risk factors, including blood pressure, resting heart rate, fitness and body fat.

Key findings included:

  • The children's average body mass index was 17.5 for the girls and 17.4 for the boys.

  • The boys were significantly more physically active than the girls, with higher levels of general physical activity (746 mean counts per minute versus 620), moderate to vigor
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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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