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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000401507.30815.2d
C-42 Exercise is Medicine/Poster - The Application of EIM: JUNE 2, 2011 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM: ROOM: Hall B

Freshman Medical Students' Health and Fitness Levels Influence Their Attitudes Regarding Future Physical Activity Counseling: 2107: Board #302 June 2 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Lobelo, Felipe1; Donado, Carolina2; Duperly, John2; Sarmiento, Olga L.2; Pratt, Michael FACSM1; Frank, Erica3

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Author Information

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. 2Los Andes University, Bogota, Colombia. 3University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Sponsor: Michael Pratt, FACSM)

Email: rlobelo@cdc.gov

(No relationships reported)

PURPOSE: Physicians' and medical students' practices around physical activity (PA) preventive counseling (PC) are influenced by their self-reported habits but have not been tested yet using objective markers of health.We aim to assess the association between objective markers of cardiometabolic health and attitudes towards providing PA-related PC to patients among freshman medical students (FMS).

METHODS: Between 2005 and 2010 a total of 577 Colombian FMS (57% female, mean age 18.4 y) were assessed. Socio-demographic data, family history of chronic diseases (FHx) and compliance with 2008 PA guidelines (PAG) were self-reported. Attitudes towards PA-related PC were assessed via: "How relevant do you think it will be in your future medical practice to counsel your patients on PA?" and "I will have the ability to counsel my patients more credibly and effectively if I am physically active". Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was assessed using the 20-meter shuttle run test and healthy CRF levels coded according to FITNESSGRAM. Waist circumference (WC), BMI, and fasting levels of glucose (FG), HDL, and Triglycerides (TG) were measured, and risk categories coded according to the Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn) definition. Logistic regressions adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic status, FHx and PA levels where used to study the associations between MetSyn, CRF and PC.

RESULTS: The prevalence of meeting the PAG and of healthy CRF were higher in males vs. females (73.5% vs. 68.9%, and 29% vs. 17%; p<0.01, respectively). The prevalence of overweight was higher in males (18% vs.10%; p<0.05) but abdominal obesity (12% vs. 5%: p=0.003) and low HDL were higher in females (36% vs. 24%; p<0.01). Providing PC on PA was perceived as highly relevant by 80% of FMS and significant correlates included normal TG (OR=3.2; p=0.006), negative FHx (OR=2; p=0.05) and healthy CRF levels (OR=1.7; p=0.08). Factors significantly associated with agreeing/strongly agreeing with the relationship between personal PA and PC were having healthy CRF (OR=2.3; p=0.001), meeting PAG (OR= 1.6; p=0.02), negative FHx (OR=1.8; p=0.02) and having normal HDL (OR=1.6; p=0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Objective markers of cardiometabolic health, particularly having healthy levels of CRF, are strongly associated with FMS' positive attitudes towards future PA-related PC.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine

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