Physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk profile in women.
American Journal of Epidemiology 1997 ; 146: 322-8.
PubMed ID : 9270411
In a population of 4,576 Dutch women aged 49-70 years who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) in 1993-1995, the relation between physical activity and the presence of cardiovascular disease risk indicators was assessed cross-sectionally. Physical activity was determined from a self-administered questionnaire, while blood pressure, heart rate, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, and waist circumference were measured at the study center. Mean risk indicator levels were calculated for different activity categories. Blood pressure was most clearly associated with time spent in sports (mean systolic blood pressure, adjusted for age, level of education, and smoking, 128.9 mmHg in the highest sports tertile, and 132.1 mmHg in the lowest sports tertile; mean diastolic blood pressure, 77.8 mmHg and 79.0 mmHg, respectively). Body mass index, waist/hip ratio, and waist circumference showed an inverse relation with cycling, gardening, do-it-yourself-activities, and sports. In this population, leisure-time activity was inversely related to cardiovascular disease risk indicators, but work activity and housework were not. The authors conclude that if investigators wish to measure physical activity in women over age 50 years with the aim to identify high- and low-risk groups for cardiovascular disease, they should consider not only housework activity, but also leisure-time activities such as cycling, sports, and do-it-yourself activities.