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Res Q Exerc Sport. 1993 Jun;64(2):202-7.

Aerobic capacity in black adolescent girls.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.


Our purpose was to determine the aerobic capacities (VO2max) of a group of black female adolescents (age = 11.4-15.8 years) randomly chosen from a single urban school. Of 91 girls selected, 64 performed an incremental treadmill running test to volitional exhaustion and achieved VO2max as determined from expired gas measures. Other measures included height (m), weight (kg), and calf and triceps skinfolds (for % fat estimates). Girls were also asked whether they had achieved menarche. VO2max averaged 37.3 +/- 6.2 x min-1 and was significantly correlated (r[62]) with height (-.32, p < .01), body mass index (-.63, p < .001), and % fat (-.65, p < .001) but not with age (-.16, p > .10). Postmenarchal girls were significantly taller and older than premenarchal girls. Contrary to previous studies, the girls' VO2max values were not related to biological age. Our subjects' aerobic capacity values averaged 14% less than those of nonblack U.S. female adolescents previously reported in the literature. This difference in VO2max was primarily a function of body weight. Study implications support the possibility that overweight in adult black women may originate prior to or during early adolescence. Future longitudinal studies should be designed to investigate the effects of aerobic fitness on cardiovascular risk factor reduction in black adolescent girls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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