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C31D FREE COMMUNICATION/SLIDE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, PHYSICAL FITNESS, AND CHD

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, FITNESS AND CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS IN MIDDLE-AGE CHINESE WOMEN

Hui, S C. FACSM1; Thomas, G N.1; Tomlinson, B1

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2002 - Volume 34 - Issue 5 - p S122
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It is well documented that increasing physical activity is an important strategy to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, few investigation have used Chinese women as the study population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between physical activity, physical fitness and CVD risk factors in Chinese middle-age women, so as to verify the findings reported in western studies. A random sample of 156 middle-age Chinese women (46.3 +/− 7.3 yrs) were recruited to participate in this study. All participants were required to complete an informed consent form, a health history questionnaire, and a self-report physical activity rating (PAR). The PAR was a 11-point scale ranging from no activity at all (PAR = 0) to vigorous exercise performed for at least 30 min everyday (PAR = 10) (Hui, 2001). Fasting blood samples were also collected to examine the detailed blood lipid and glucose profiles. Aerobic fitness (VO2max) was estimated from a submaximal multi-stage treadmill protocol. Positive CVD risk was defined as those indicators measured from participants that exceeded the CVD risk factor thresholds published by the ACSM (2000). The final CVD risk score was the sum of the positive risk factors. Participants were also classified into three activity groups (sedentary, somewhat active, active) and two risk categories (low risk, high risk) for further analysis. Results indicated that as Chinese women aged, the mean risk increased significantly (.27 for age 35–45 yrs; .83 for age 46–55 yrs; .77 for age 56–65 yrs, p < .05). Among the sedentary women, 30.4% were classified as high risk, which was twice the proportion seen in the somewhat active (17.8%) and active (18.2%) groups. Regression analysis of the relationship between estimated VO2max and CVD risk factors revealed no significant linear nor non-linear associations. Subsequent stepwise logistic regression using the CVD risk (high-low risk) as the dependent variable, and age, PAR, and estimated VO2max as covariates found that only PAR could significantly predict CVD risk categories (p < .05). In summary, the results from present study confirmed the suggestion that increasing physical activity would benefit cardiovascular health in Chinese middle-age women, although an association between aerobic fitness and CVD risk was not supported.

©2002The American College of Sports Medicine