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Circulation. 2012 Aug 21;126(8):928-33. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.103879. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Physical activity and inflammatory markers over 10 years: follow-up in men and women from the Whitehall II cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. m.hamer@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Inflammatory processes are putative mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects of physical activity. An inverse association between physical activity and inflammation has been demonstrated, but no long-term prospective data are available. We therefore examined the association between physical activity and inflammatory markers over a 10-year follow-up period.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Participants were 4289 men and women (mean age, 49.2 years) from the Whitehall II cohort study. Self-reported physical activity and inflammatory markers (serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin-6) were measured at baseline (1991) and follow-up (2002). Forty-nine percent of the participants adhered to standard physical activity recommendations for cardiovascular health (2.5 h/wk moderate to vigorous physical activity) across all assessments. Physically active participants at baseline had lower C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels, and this difference remained stable over time. Compared with participants who rarely adhered to physical activity guidelines over the 10-year follow-up, the high-adherence group displayed lower log(e) C-reactive protein (β=-0.07; 95% confidence interval, -0.12 to -0.02) and log(e) interleukin-6 (β=-0.07; 95% confidence interval, -0.10 to -0.03) at follow-up after adjustment for a range of covariates. Compared with participants who remained stable, those who reported an increase in physical activity of at least 2.5 h/wk displayed lower log(e) C-reactive protein (β coefficient=-0.05; 95% confidence interval, -0.10 to -0.001) and log(e) interleukin-6 (β coefficient=-0.06; 95% confidence interval, -0.09 to -0.03) at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS:

Regular physical activity is associated with lower markers of inflammation over 10 years of follow-up and thus may be important in preventing the proinflammatory state seen with aging.

PMID:
22891048
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3890998
Free PMC Article

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