Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Blood Pressure: A Longitudinal Analysis

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiovascular indices 2 years later, and to determine whether changes in cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with cardiovascular indices at a 2-year follow-up in adolescents.

Study design

The sample comprised 734 adolescents (349 girls) aged 12-18 years followed for 3 years from the LabMed Physical Activity Study. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed by the 20-meter shuttle run test. Height, weight, waist circumference, and resting blood pressure (BP) were measured according to standard procedures.

Results

Regression analyses showed a significant inverse association between cardiorespiratory fitness at baseline and systolic BP (B = −0.126; P = .047) and rate pressure product (B = −29.94; P = .016), at follow-up after adjustments for age, sex, height, pubertal stage, socioeconomic status, and waist circumference. Significant differences were found between cardiorespiratory fitness groups (fit vs unfit) at baseline and systolic BP and rate pressure product at follow-up (P < .05 for all). Analysis of covariance showed a significant association between cardiorespiratory fitness changes and systolic BP (P = .024) and rate pressure product (P = .014), after adjustment for age, sex, height, pubertal status, socioeconomic status, and waist circumference.

Conclusions

Changes in cardiorespiratory fitness during adolescence were associated with cardiovascular indices over a 2-year period. Adolescents with persistently low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness exhibited the highest levels of systolic BP and rate pressure product.

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