University of Oulu

Maisa Niemelä, Maarit Kangas, Vahid Farrahi, Antti Kiviniemi, Anna-Maiju Leinonen, Riikka Ahola, Katri Puukka, Juha Auvinen, Raija Korpelainen, Timo Jämsä, Intensity and temporal patterns of physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk in midlife, Preventive Medicine,Volume 124, 2019, Pages 33-41, ISSN 0091-7435,

Intensity and temporal patterns of physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk in midlife

Saved in:
Author: Niemelä, Maisa1,2,3; Kangas, Maarit1,2; Farrahi, Vahid1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Infotech, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
5Oulu Deaconess Institute, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu, Finland
6Polar Electro, Kempele, Finland
7NordLab Oulu, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Oulu, Finland
8Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-04


Physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (SED) are associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the temporal patterns of these behaviors most beneficial for cardiovascular health remain unknown. We aimed to identify the intensity and temporal patterns of PA and SED measured continuously by an accelerometer and their relationship with CVD risk.

At the age of 46 years, 4582 members (1916 men; 2666 women) of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study underwent continuous measurement of PA with Polar Active (Polar Electro, Finland) accelerometers for one week. X-means clustering was applied based on 10 min average MET (metabolic equivalent) values during the measurement period. Ten-year risk of CVD was estimated using the Framingham risk model.

Most of the participants had low risk for CVD. Four distinct PA clusters were identified that were well differentiable by the intensity and temporal patterns of activity (inactive, evening active, moderately active, very active). A significant difference in 10-year CVD risk across the clusters was found in men (p = 0.028) and women (p < 0.001). Higher levels of HDL cholesterol were found in more active clusters compared to less active clusters (p < 0.001) in both genders. In women total cholesterol was lower in the moderately active cluster compared to the inactive and evening active clusters (p = 0.001).

Four distinct PA clusters were recognized based on accelerometer data and X-means clustering. A significant difference in CVD risk across the clusters was found in both genders. These results can be used in developing and promoting CVD prevention strategies.

see all

Series: Preventive medicine
ISSN: 0091-7435
ISSN-E: 1096-0260
ISSN-L: 0091-7435
Volume: 124
Pages: 33 - 41
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.04.023
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
315 Sport and fitness sciences
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from the University of Oulu [grant number 24000692], Oulu University Hospital [grant number 24301140], and ERDF European Regional Development Fund [grant number 539/2010 A31592]. The study has been financially supported by Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland [grant numbers OKM/86/626/2014, OKM/43/626/2015, OKM/17/626/2016]; Infotech Oulu, Finland; Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District; EU H2020 MSCA COFUND [grant number 713 645]; Tauno Tönningin säätiö; the Paulo Foundation; and the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research. The funders of the study did not have any role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis, and interpretation or in writing the manuscript.
EU Grant Number: (713645) BioMEP - Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (