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Rev Esp Cardiol. 2008 Feb;61(2):123-9.

[Physically active adolescents are more likely to have a healthier cardiovascular fitness level independently of their adiposity status. The European youth heart study].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Unidad de Nutrición Preventiva, Departamento de Biociencia y Nutrición de NOVUM, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Suecia.



Cardiovascular fitness (CVF) has been considered a health marker at all ages. The main purpose of this study was to examine whether meeting the current physical activity (PA) recommendations is associated with a healthier CVF level in adolescents.


A total of 472 adolescents (14-16 years-old) were studied. CVF was estimated from a maximal bike test and PA was objectively assessed by accelerometry. Subjects were classed as high/low-CVF level, according to the Cooper Institute's cut-offs, and having a high/low-PA level depending on if the adolescents were engaged in at least 60 min per day at moderate-vigorous PA intensity level. Body fat was estimated from skinfold thicknesses.


Binary logistic regression showed that adolescent girls meeting the current PA recommendations (> or = 60 min/day of moderate-vigorous PA) were three times more likely to have a high-CVF level than girls that did not meet the recommendations, after controlling for sexual maturation status (Tanner stages) and body fat. Likewise, adolescent boys meeting the PA recommendations were eight times more likely to have a high-CVF level than boys that did not meet the recommendations.


The results suggest that devoting 60 min or more to moderate-vigorous PA daily is associated with a healthier CVF level in adolescents, independent of maturation status and adiposity. The patterns of the association were similar in girls and boys, but the fact that the associations were weaker in girls is of concern.

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