Objectively measured physical activity and sedentary-time are associated with arterial stiffness in Brazilian young adults

Atherosclerosis. 2015 Nov;243(1):148-54. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Sep 9.


Objective: To examine the associations between objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time with pulse wave velocity (PWV) in Brazilian young adults.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis with participants of the 1982 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort who were followed-up from birth to 30 years of age. Overall physical activity (PA) assessed as the average acceleration (mg), time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA - min/day) and sedentary time (min/day) were calculated from acceleration data. Carotid-femoral PWV (m/s) was assessed using a portable ultrasound. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP), waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) were analyzed as possible mediators. Multiple linear regression and g-computation formula were used in the analyses.

Results: Complete data were available for 1241 individuals. PWV was significantly lower in the two highest quartiles of overall PA (0.26 m/s) compared with the lowest quartile. Participants in the highest quartile of sedentary time had 0.39 m/s higher PWV (95%CI: 0.20; 0.57) than those in the lowest quartile. Individuals achieving ≥30 min/day in MVPA had lower PWV (β = -0.35; 95%CI: -0.56; -0.14). Mutually adjusted analyses between MVPA and sedentary time and PWV changed the coefficients, although results from sedentary time remained more consistent. WC captured 44% of the association between MVPA and PWV. DBP explained 46% of the association between acceleration and PWV.

Conclusions: Physical activity was inversely related to PWV in young adults, whereas sedentary time was positively associated. Such associations were only partially mediated by WC and DBP.

Keywords: Cohort studies; Physical activity; Vascular stiffness.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brazil
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Pulse Wave Analysis*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vascular Stiffness
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult