Associations between physical activity and cardiometabolic risk factors assessed in a Southern California health care system, 2010-2012

Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Dec 18:11:E219. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140196.


Introduction: Risk factors associated with many chronic diseases can be improved through regular physical activity. This study investigated whether cross-sectional associations between physical activity, assessed by the Exercise Vital Sign (EVS), and cardiometabolic risk factors can be detected in clinical settings.

Methods: We used electronic records from Kaiser Permanente Southern California members (N = 622,897) to examine the association of EVS category with blood pressure, fasting glucose, random glucose, and glycosylated hemoglobin. Adults aged 18 years or older with at least 3 EVS measures between April 2010 and December 2012, without comorbid conditions, and not taking antihypertension or glucose-lowering medications were included. We compared consistently inactive (EVS = 0 min/wk for every measure) with consistently active (EVS ≥150 min/wk) and irregularly active (EVS 1-149 min/wk or not meeting the consistently active or inactive criteria) patients. Separate linear regression analyses were conducted controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and smoking status.

Results: Consistently active women had lower systolic (-4.60 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI], -4.70 to -4.44) and diastolic (-3.28 mm Hg; 95% CI, -3.40 to -3.17) blood pressure than inactive women. Active men had lower diastolic blood pressure than inactive men. Consistently active patients (women, -5.27 mg/dL [95% CI, -5.56 to -4.97]; men, -1.45 mg/dL [95% CI, -1.75 to -1.16] and irregularly active patients (women, -4.57 mg/dL [95% CI, -4.80 to -4.34]; men, -0.42 mg/dL [95% CI, -0.66 to -0.19]) had lower fasting glucose than consistently inactive patients. Consistently active and irregularly active men and women also had favorable random glucose and HbA1c compared with consistently inactive patients.

Conclusion: Routine clinical physical activity assessment may give health care providers additional information about their patients' cardiometabolic risk factors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior / ethnology
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vital Signs / physiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A