University of Oulu

Aira, T, Kokko, SP, Heinonen, OJ, et al. Longitudinal physical activity patterns and the development of cardiometabolic risk factors during adolescence. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2023; 33: 1807-1820. doi:10.1111/sms.14415

Longitudinal physical activity patterns and the development of cardiometabolic risk factors during adolescence

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Author: Aira, Tuula1; Kokko, Sami Petteri1; Heinonen, Olli Juhani2;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, Research Centre for Health Promotion, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
2Paavo Nurmi Centre & Unit for Health and Physical Activity, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
3Medical Research Center (MRC), University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr., Oulu, Finland
5Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
7Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine, Tampere, Finland
8Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
9Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
10Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, Kuopio, Finland
11Clinic for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Foundation for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Helsinki, Finland
12Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Clinicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
13Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Jyväskylä Finland, Jyväskylä, Finland
14Medical Research Unit and Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seinäjoki Central Hospital and University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
15UKK Institute of Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland
16Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-06


Purpose: To examine the associations between longitudinal physical activity (PA) patterns and the development of cardiometabolic risk factors from adolescence to young adulthood.

Methods: This cohort study encompassed 250 participants recruited from sports clubs and schools, and examined at mean age 15 and 19. Device-measured moderate-to-vigorous PA was grouped into five patterns (via a data-driven method, using inactivity maintainers as a reference). The outcomes were: glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI). Linear growth curve models were applied with adjustment for sex, age, fruit/vegetable consumption, cigarette/snuff use, and change in the device wear-time.

Results: Insulin and BMI increased among decreasers from moderate to low PA (β for insulin 0.23, 95% CI 0.03–0.46; β for BMI 0.90; CI 0.02–1.78). The concentration of HDL cholesterol decreased (β −0.18, CI −0.31 to −0.05) and that of glucose increased (β 0.18, CI 0.02–0.35) among decreasers from high to moderate PA. By contrast, among increasers, blood pressure declined (systolic β −6.43, CI −12.16 to −0.70; diastolic β −6.72, CI −11.03 to −2.41).

Conclusions: Already during the transition to young adulthood, changes in PA are associated with changes in cardiometabolic risk factors. Favorable blood pressure changes were found among PA increasers. Unfavorable changes in BMI, insulin, glucose, and HDL cholesterol were found in groups with decreasing PA. The changes were dependent on the baseline PA and the magnitude of the PA decline.

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Series: Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
ISSN: 0905-7188
ISSN-E: 1600-0838
ISSN-L: 0905-7188
Volume: 33
Issue: 9
Pages: 1807 - 1820
DOI: 10.1111/sms.14415
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
315 Sport and fitness sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture (major, grant numbers: 6/091/2011, 28/626/2016), and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (minor, grant number: 152/THL/TE/2012), encompassing all parts of the study. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, statistical analysis or preparation of this manuscript.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.