University of Oulu

Marjaana Tikanmäki, Nina Kaseva, Tuija Tammelin, Marika Sipola-Leppänen, Hanna-Maria Matinolli, Johan G. Eriksson, Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Marja Vääräsmäki, Eero Kajantie, Leisure Time Physical Activity in Young Adults Born Preterm, The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 189, 2017, Pages 135-142.e2, ISSN 0022-3476,

Leisure time physical activity in young adults born preterm

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Author: Tikanmäki, Marjaana1,2; Kaseva, Nina1; Tammelin, Tuija3;
Organizations: 1Chronic Disease Prevention Unit, Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu, Helsinki, Finland
2Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3LIKES Research Center for Physical Activity and Health, Jyväskylä, Finland
4PEDEGO Research Unit (Research Unit for Pediatrics, Dermatology, Clinical Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynecology), Medical Research Center Oulu (MRC Oulu), Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
6Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC–PHE Center for Environment & Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
7Center for Life Course Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
8Biocenter Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
10Children, Adolescents and Families Unit, Department of Welfare, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu, Finland
11Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-11-22


Objective: To evaluate the amount of self-reported physical activity in young adults born prematurely compared with those born at term.

Study design: Unimpaired participants of the Preterm Birth Study (Preterm Birth and Early Life Programming of Adult Health and Disease) birth cohort study were studied at age 23.3 ± 1.2 (SD) years: 118 born early preterm (<34 weeks), 210 late preterm (34—36 weeks), and 311 born at term (≥37 weeks, controls). The participants completed a validated 30—item, 12—month physical activity questionnaire. The annual frequency and total volume of conditioning and nonconditioning leisure time physical activity and commuting physical activity were calculated and the data analyzed by means of linear regression.

Results: Adults born early preterm reported a 31.5% (95% CI, 17.4—43.2) lower volume of leisure time physical activity (in metabolic equivalents [MET] h/year) and had a 2.0—fold increased OR (1.2—3.3) of being in the least active quintile than controls. Lower amounts of conditioning, nonconditioning, and commuting physical activity all contributed to the difference. In addition, early preterm participants undertook less vigorous physical activity (≥6 MET). No differences in physical activity were found between the late preterm and control groups. Adjustments for potential early life confounders and current mediating health characteristics did not change the results.

Conclusions: Young adults born early preterm engage less in leisure time physical activities than peers born at term. This finding may in part underlie the increased risk factors of cardiometabolic and other noncommunicable diseases in adults born preterm. Low physical activity is a risk factor for several noncommunicable diseases and amenable to prevention.

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Series: Journal of pediatrics
ISSN: 0022-3476
ISSN-E: 1097-6833
ISSN-L: 0022-3476
Volume: 189
Pages: 135 - 142
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.06.068
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: Supported by the Academy of Finland (SALVE program for 2009-2012 and grants 127437, 129306, 130326, 134791, and 263924 [to E.K.]); the Doctoral Program for Public Health, University of Tampere (to M.S.L.); the Emil Aaltonen Foundation (to E.K.), the European Commission (Framework 5 award QLG1-CT-2000-001643 to M.R.J.); the Finnish Foundation for Pediatric Research (to E.K.); the Finnish Government Special Subsidiary for Health Sciences (evo) (to J.G.E.); Finska Läkaresällskapet (to J.G.E. and N.K.); the Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation (to E.K.); the Juho Vainio Foundation (to E.K., M.T., and M.V.); the National Graduate School of Clinical Investigation (to M.T.); the Novo Nordisk Foundation (to E.K. and M.V.); the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (to J.G.E., E.K., and N.K.); the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation (to E.K.); and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation (to E.K., M.S.L., and M.V.).
Copyright information: © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license