News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief: Andrew M. Jones
Welcome to this month's issue of MSSE which contains another diverse collection of high quality articles. I've chosen to highlight articles on clinical exercise testing, obesity and bone health, and childhood motor development.
In 'Clinical Utility of the Cardiorespiratory Optimal Point in Patients with Heart Failure'. Kroesen et al. address the utility of the so-called cardiorespiratory optimal point (COP) in cardiac rehabilitation. COP, defined as the minimal VE/VO2 in a given minute of an incremental exercise test, was examined the COP of 277 male and female patients with heart failure participating in a 12- to 24-week cardiac rehabilitation program. It was reported that: 1) a higher, less favorable, COP was associated with classic cardiovascular risk factors; 2) cardiac rehabilitation-based exercise training reduces COP; and 3) a higher COP (30.7) is associated with a worse clinical prognosis after 8.6 years of follow-up. As COP is obtained at a submaximal exercise intensity of ~50% VO2peak and is favorably modified by exercise training, it may offer novel possibilities for heart failure care programs.
Obesity is associated with both increased bone mass and higher fracture risk. The bone health impact of reducing fat and sugar intake on bone quality and fracture risk remains controversial, with few data available in exercising individuals. In 'Rapid Transition from a High-Fat, High-Fructose to a Low-Fat, Low-Fructose Diet Reverses Gains in Bone Mass and Strength', Little-Letsinger et al. examined the effect of a high-fat, high-sugar diet (HFS) on bone health in regularly exercising male mice and whether subsequent transition to a low-fat, zero-sugar (LFS) diet would improve multiple bone outcomes. HFS feeding robustly enhanced bone structure and size-dependent strength properties, but not bone quality. Transition to the LFS diet returned bone structure and strength outcomes to the lower values of continuously LFS-fed mice, suggesting that rapid weight loss even in exercising obese individuals should be performed cautiously to protect bone health.
Adequate development of motor competence is considered a key determinant of childhood physical activity (PA), weight status, and physical fitness. It is reflected in the timing of motor milestones such as first-time roll from back to belly (typically at 6.2 months) or the ability to walk independently (~15 months). In 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on the Early Motor Development as a Function of Parental Educational Attainment', Zi et al. studied 7492 monozygotic and 14026 dizygotic twin pairs and showed that genetics explained 52% of the individual differences in motor development while shared family environment explained 39%. Family environment had a significantly stronger effect when the parents had lower educational attainment. These results suggest that intervention on the family environment can impact on infant motor development, but also caution that the well-known association of motor skill development with future PA may partly derive from genetic factors.
Andrew M. Jones
University of Exeter