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Am J Ther. 2013 Jul-Aug;20(4):448-58. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e318235f1f2.

International physical activity questionnaire overestimation is ameliorated by individual analysis of the scores.

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  • 1Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Research Center, The University of Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela.


Sedentarism is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and death from any cardiovascular disease. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) assesses physical activity in metabolic equivalents, using 4 dimensions: occupation, transportation, household activities, and leisure-time physical activity. The purpose of this investigation was to assess physical activity levels in the patients enrolled in the Maracaibo City Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence Study, currently undertaken by the "Dr. Félix Gómez" Endocrine-Metabolic Research Center. Two thousand one hundred eight individuals were recruited and subjected to a standard Medical chart, Graffar scale, and IPAQ long form, applied by trained personnel. Description of the population was done using mean, SD, and coefficient of variation. IPAQ scores were analyzed as medians and distributed by percentiles. From the 2108 individuals, 46.9% were men and 53.1% were women. The most prevalent physical activity was high physical activity with 39.9%, followed by moderate physical activity with 36.9% and low physical activity with 23.2%. Medians for each IPAQ dominion were occupation with 0.00 (0.00-66.00), transportation with 165.00 (0.00-463.00), household activities with 772.50 (0.00-2520.00), and leisure time with 0.00 (0.00-594.00). Using leisure-time scores, a new reclassification was conducted, obtaining 1245 subjects with 0 metabolic equivalents in this dominion. From this new subsample, 43.6% had High physical activity, 56.95% had Moderate physical activity, and 91% had Low physical activity, demonstrating an important overestimation in the former sample results. IPAQ overestimates moderate and vigorous activity in the adult population of the Maracaibo Municipality. Overestimation is mainly located in the household- and gardening-related activity.

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