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Eur J Pediatr. 2017 Oct;176(10):1433-1437. doi: 10.1007/s00431-017-3000-2. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Attention capacity in European adolescents: role of different health-related factors. The HELENA study.

Author information

1
PROFITH "PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity" Research Group, Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Camino de Alfacar s/n, 18071, Granada, Spain. ireneesteban@ugr.es.
2
PROFITH "PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity" Research Group, Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Camino de Alfacar s/n, 18071, Granada, Spain.
3
University of Lille, Inserm, CHU Lille, U995 - LIRIC - Lille Inflammation Research International Center, CIC 1403 - Centre d'investigation clinique, F-59000, Lille, France.
4
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Hospital, Ghent University, 4K3, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.
5
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, Venizelou 70, Ave. Kallithea, Athens, Greece.
6
ImFINE Research Group, Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
7
Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Private Medical University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
8
Research Department Child Nutrition, Pediatric University Clinic, Bochum, Germany.
9
Department of Medical Physiology School of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
10
Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Unit, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
11
GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition, and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2), Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Aragón (IIS Aragón) and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Zaragoza, Spain.
12
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.

Abstract

We compared the level of attention capacity between adolescents from the center and south of Europe. The study included 627 European adolescents (54% girls), aged 12.5-17.5 years, who participated in the HELENA Study. The d2 Test of Attention was administered to assess attention capacity. The main results showed that adolescents from the south of Europe had significantly higher score in attention capacity compared with adolescents from central Europe (score + 8.1; 95%CI, 2.44-13.61) after adjustment for age, sex, socioeconomic indicators, body mass index, cardiorespiratory fitness and diet quality index (p = 0.012).

CONCLUSION:

Adolescents from the south of Europe had higher levels of attention capacity than their counterparts from central Europe independently of sociodemographic and health-related factors. These differences should be taken into account by educational institutions when promoting new approaches for putting into the practice student's capacities. What is Known? • Attention is a crucial capacity during adolescence. • Several health-related factors (i.e., physical activity, fitness or fatness) may influence attention capacity in adolescents. What is New? • Adolescents from the south of Europe had higher levels of attention capacity than their counterparts from the center, after accounting for socioeconomic factors, fitness, fatness and quality of diet. • These differences should be taken into account by educational institutions when promoting new approaches for putting into the practice student's capacities.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Attention capacity; Europe; Geographical discrepancies

PMID:
28861606
DOI:
10.1007/s00431-017-3000-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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