Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and their Relationship to Cardiovascular Risk Factors in African Americans and Non-African Americans With Above-Optimal Blood Pressure

Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
Journal of Community Health (Impact Factor: 1.28). 05/2005; 30(2):107-24. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-004-1095-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This report describes cross-sectional associations among physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, dietary habits, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in a large sample (n = 810) of African Americans (n = 279) and non-African Americans (n = 531) with above-optimal blood pressure. Participants in PREMIER, a clinical trial for blood pressure control through lifestyle approaches, underwent baseline assessments to determine physical activity level, cardiorespiratory fitness category, dietary intake, and CVD risk factors. Mean levels of body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, daily percent calories from fat and saturated fat, daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and daily fiber intake were examined across three physical activity levels and two fitness categories. Hypertension status was also assessed. Data were stratified by sex and ethnicity. For all participants, those in the low fitness category had higher BMI levels. Total cholesterol was lower in African American women in the high fitness category. Mean values of more than five daily servings of fruits and vegetables were reported by non-African American women and African American men in the high activity category. Higher intake of dietary fiber was found for non-African American women at the high activity level, with a similar trend observed for African American women. Future work examining these associations prospectively should include sufficient minority representation to enhance generalizability to all population groups and determine the beneficial effects from increased physical activity and improved cardiorespiratory fitness.

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