Physical activity and cardiometabolic risk in male children and adolescents: The Balcarce study

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This study aims to evaluate the relationship between the amount of physical activity and different traditional and novel cardiometabolic risk factors, as well as atheroprotective agents, in male children and adolescents.

Main methods

Cross-sectional study. A total of 337 male children and adolescents aged 7–14 years old from the rural city of Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina were studied.

Key findings

The main finding of the present study was that, in male children and adolescents, physical activity was inversely associated with lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity (r = − 0.39, p < 0.001) and with cholesteryl ester transfer protein activity (r = − 0.23, p < 0.05) apart from other proatherogenic agents after adjusting for age and BMI. Strikingly, among the parameters evaluated, overweight, hyperglycemia and Lp-PLA2 activity resulted to be independently related to physical activity as shown by stepwise regression analysis.


The strong negative association between exercise and Lp-PLA2 activity and the fact that the latter resulted to be the unique continuous variable that persisted associated with physical activity would add an additional benefit of exercise in early prevention of vascular inflammation and atherogenesis.

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