The aims of this study were to compare self-reported vigorous physical activity and participation in sports among adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) to those of age matched peers from the general population, and to determine which CF patient characteristics are associated with regular physical activity. One hundred and sixteen of 141 (82%) adolescents aged 12-19 years identified through North Carolina CF Care Center registries confidentially completed a self-administered questionnaire (the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey) addressing health-compromising and health-enhancing behaviors, including physical activity. They were age- and gender-matched to adolescents from North Carolina schools who completed the same survey. Adolescents with CF did not differ significantly from their matched peers with regard to participating three or more times a week in activities that "make you sweat or breathe hard" (63% vs. 67%, P = 0.37), physical education class (59% vs. 61%, P = 0.81), or team sports (52% vs. 61%, P = 0.10). For all categories of activity, participation declined among adolescents aged 17 years or older. After adjusting for gender and health status, early (14 years or younger) and middle (15-16 years) adolescents were more likely to participate in all three types of activity than older adolescents with CF. Like their peers in the general population, adolescents aged 17 and older are much less likely to report regular physical activity, or participation in physical education class or in team sports. Healthcare providers should be aware of this decline in activity in late adolescence and should consider efforts to maintain physical activity among older teenagers and young adults.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.