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Cad Saude Publica. 2004 Jan-Feb;20(1):48-56. Epub 2004 Mar 8.

[Prediction of aerobic fitness without stress testing and applicability to epidemiological studies: a systematic review].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Epidemiologia, Instituto de Medicina Social, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


Cardiorespiratory fitness is used as an independent factor for evaluating risk of all-cause mortality, but mainly from coronary heart disease. Nevertheless, evaluation of fitness based on stress tests poses numerous epidemiological difficulties. Alternative forms of evaluation have therefore been suggested using non-exercise-based regression models. This study aimed to analyze these models and their applicability to epidemiological studies. A systematic review was conducted of articles published from 1966 to 2002. The models were classified according to: (a) theoretical justification for the explanatory variables included in the model; (b) validation criteria (gold standard); (c) regression models fully reported, including standard error of estimation; and (d) cross-validation. The search process yielded 23 studies, five of which met all established quality criteria. The authors conclude that cardiorespiratory evaluation by non-exercise-based models could be feasible in epidemiological studies. However, few equations appear to meet the minimum external validation requirements to provide data that could be generalized to large populations.

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