Physical activity and cardiovascular risk: a cross-sectional study of middle-aged premenopausal women.
ABSTRACT The relationship between self-reported physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors was evaluated in a population-based sample. The sample included 541 premenopausal women recruited for a study of the natural history of risk factor change associated with change in sex hormone status. Physical activity was assessed using the Paffenbarger Activity Questionnaire. Women were classified according to quartile of weekly energy expenditure into groups of 0-500, 501-999, 1,000-1,999, and 2,000 kcal or greater. Results showed that the more active the women, the lower their blood pressure and heart rate. More active women had lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Tricep and suprailiac skinfolds, fasting insulin, and insulin/glucose levels were also lower among the more active women. When the analysis was repeated controlling for the effect of education and body mass index, the statistical test for linear trend remained significant except for the trend for heart rate, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Women reporting activity of 1,000 kcal/week had higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lower diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, skinfolds, fasting insulin, and fasting insulin/glucose ratios compared with women reporting lower levels of activity. Only those women who reported 2,000 kcal/week had significantly lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and higher HDL2 cholesterol; women reporting less activity did not differ with regard to these lipids and lipoproteins. The study suggests that physical activity is associated with improved cardiovascular risk profiles among middle-aged women and that the beneficial effects of activity are seen at different levels for specific risk factors.
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ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of women in most developed areas of the world. Rates of physical inactivity and poor nutrition, which are two of the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women, are substantial. This study sought to examine the effectiveness of a community-based lifestyle-modification program on increasing women's physical activity in a randomized trial guided by community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods. A total of 335 healthy, 25-64 years old women who had been selected by a multiple-stage stratified cluster random sampling method in Bushehr Port/I.R. Iran, were randomized into control and intervention groups. The intervention group completed an 8-week lifestyle modification program for increasing their physical activity, based on a revised form of Choose to Move program; an American Heart Association Physical Activity Program for Women. Audio-taped activity instructions with music and practical usage of the educational package were given to the intervention group in weekly home-visits by 53 volunteers from local non-governmental and community-based organizations. Among the participants, the percentage who reported being active (at lease 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity for at least 5 days a week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity for at least three days a week) increased from 3% and 2.7% at baseline to 13.4% and 3% (p < 0.0001) at the ending of the program in the intervention and control groups, respectively. The participants in the intervention group reported more minutes of physical activity per week (mean = 139.81, SE = 23.35) than women in the control group (mean = 40.14, SE = 12.65) at week 8 (p < 0.0001). The intervention group subjects exhibited a significantly greater decrease in systolic blood pressure (-10.0 mmHg) than the control group women (+2.0. mmHg). The mean ranks for posttest healthy heart knowledge in the intervention and control groups were 198.91 and 135.77, respectively (P < 0.0001). An intervention based on CBPR methods can be effective for the short-term adoption of physical activity behavior among women. The development of participatory process to support the adequate delivery of lifestyle-modification programs is feasible and an effective healthcare delivery strategy for cardiovascular community health promotion. ACTRNO12606000521527.BMC Public Health 02/2007; 7:216. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate the construct validity of the Harvard Alumni Activity Survey (HAAS) in an urban, lower income population. Data were collected from 192 smokers enrolled in an antioxidant micronutrient trial. Activity data were compared to body mass index (BMI), diastolic, and systolic blood pressure. The traditional physical activity index (PAI), using data on stair climbing, walking, and sports, was calculated including and excluding body mass. A new scale, the total weekly activity (TWA) scale, was derived from other questions on the HAAS. The PAI scale calculated with body mass was unassociated with BMI and blood pressure. The PAI scale calculated without body mass was unassociated with BMI and systolic blood pressure but was associated with diastolic blood pressure (Beta = -0.001, p = 0.03). The TWA scale was associated with BMI (Beta = -0.01, p = 0.01), diastolic (Beta = -0.03, p = 0.01), and systolic blood pressure (Beta = -0.04, p = 0.01). A one standard deviation change in the TWA scale is predicted to be equivalent to a change of 0.99 BMI units, 2.97 mmHg of diastolic blood pressure, and 3.96 mmHg of systolic blood pressure. This work suggests that the TWA scale has greater construct validity than the traditional PAI scale in this population.Journal of Urban Health 10/2007; 84(5):722-32. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: During midlife years, women are at risk of increasing body weight and waist circumference. We evaluated changes in weight and waist circumference from enrollment to 2 years later and examined the influence of physical activity level on those changes among 232 women aged between 40 and 50. Weight increased significantly for the entire sample. Those who increased their physical activity from enrollment to 2 years later had the smallest increase in weight and had a slight decrease in waist circumference. To maintain ideal weight and waist circumference, midlife women should be encouraged to increase physical activity before and during the menopausal transition.Health Care For Women International 12/2012; 33(12):1086-95. · 0.63 Impact Factor