Relationship between objectively measured physical activity and vascular structure and function in adults

Atherosclerosis. 2014 Jun;234(2):366-72. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.02.028. Epub 2014 Mar 18.


Objectives: To analyze the relationship between regular physical activity, as assessed by accelerometer and 7-day physical activity recall (PAR) with vascular structure and function based on carotid intima-media thickness, pulse wave velocity, central and peripheral augmentation index and the ambulatory arterial stiffness index in adults.

Methods: This study analyzed 263 subjects who were included in the EVIDENT study (mean age 55.85 ± 12.21 years; 59.30% female). Physical activity was assessed during 7 days using the Actigraph GT3X accelerometer (counts/minute) and 7-day PAR (metabolic equivalents (METs)/hour/week). Carotid ultrasound was used to measure carotid intima media thickness (IMT). The SphygmoCor System was used to measure pulse wave velocity (PWV), and central and peripheral augmentation index (CAIx and PAIx). The B-pro device was used to measure ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI).

Results: Median counts/minute was 244.37 and mean METs/hour/week was 11.49. Physical activity showed an inverse correlation with PAIx (r = -0.179; p < 0.01) and vigorous activity day time with IMT (r = -0.174), CAIx (r = -0.217) and PAIx (r = -0.324) (p < 0.01, all). Sedentary activity day time was correlated positively with CAIx (r = 0.103; p < 0.05). In multiple regression analysis, after adjusting for confounding factors, the inverse association of CAIx with counts/minute and the time spent in moderate and vigorous activity were maintained as well as the positive association with sedentary activity day time (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Physical activity, assessed by counts/minute, and the amount of time spent in moderate, vigorous/very vigorous physical activity, showed an inverse association with CAIx. Likewise, the time spent in sedentary activity was positively associated with the CAIx.

Trial registration: Clinical Identifier: NCT01083082.

Keywords: Physical activity; Vascular function; Vascular structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Protective Factors
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness*

Associated data