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Int J Epidemiol. 1994 Dec;23(6):1154-8.

Physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors in rural Shanghai, China.

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  • 1Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhong Shan Hospital, Shanghai Medical University, PR China.



Data on the association between physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors among populations with a relatively high level of physical activity such as the Chinese, are sparse.


In 1991, as part of the Sino-Shanghai Cardiovascular Disease Registry Project, a cross-sectional survey was performed in a random sample of 1206 residents, aged 35-64 years, living in rural Shanghai, China. Information on physical activity was obtained by questionnaire. The level of physical activity was categorized into low, moderate and high, based on the presence of a weekly frequency (< 1, 1-2, > or = 3) of periods of 20 minutes that cause shortness of breath, increase in pulse rate and perspiration. Body mass index (BMI), systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) level, serum lipids levels, smoking status and heart rate were assessed.


Across groups with low, moderate and high levels of physical activity, significant inverse trends were found for hypertension, total cholesterol, BMI and heart rate in men, and for hypertension, SBP and DBP, BMI and heart rate in women. High density lipoprotein cholesterol and current smoking were not related to physical activity. When differences in BMI were allowed for, the association between physical activity and hypertension and serum cholesterol in men, and with hypertension, SBP and DBP in women, were attenuated.


Our findings from a population-based survey in China suggest that a high level of physical activity is associated with favourable levels of some of the established cardiovascular risk factors in men and women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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