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Scand J Public Health. 2001 Sep;29(3):208-17.

Adolescent determinants of cardiovascular risk factors in adult men and women.

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  • 1Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, National Institute for Working Life, UmeĆ„, Sweden.



To investigate how physical activity, physical performance and sociodemographic characteristics at the age of 16 are related to adult health habits (physical activity, dietary intake, smoking) and biological risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (being overweight, low aerobic fitness, unfavorable levels of serum lipids, high blood pressure).


A randomly selected group of 220 male and 205 female students at 16 years of age was tested in 1974, and reinvestigated 18 years later.


The predictive health profiles for adult lifestyle and biological risk factors were different in men and women. Leisure sports activity along with high performance in the nine-minute run among the boys and in the two-hand lift test among the girls were significant predictors of adult physical activity. A positive attitude to aerobic exercise and high performance in the nine-minute run test among the boys and high marks in physical education among the girls decreased the risk of smoking. Leisure sports activities together with body mass index at young ages were the most powerful predictors of adult biological risk factors, but attitudes to sports and educational level were also significant determinants.


These results contribute to the knowledge of which factors at young ages may promote adult healthy habits in particular physical activities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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