Leisure-Time Physical Activity, but not Commuting Physical Activity, is Associated with Cardiovascular Risk among ELSA-Brasil Participants

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2018 Jan;110(1):36-43. doi: 10.5935/abc.20170178. Epub 2018 Feb 1.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Background: Despite reports in the literature that both leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and commuting physical activity (CPA) can promote health benefits, the literature lacks studies comparing the associations of these domains of physical activity with cardiovascular risk scores.

Objective: To investigate the association between LTPA and CPA with different cardiovascular risk scores in the cohort of the Longitudinal Study of Adult Health ELSA-Brasil.

Methods: Cross-sectional study with data from 13,721 participants of both genders, aged 35-74 years, free of cardiovascular disease, from ELSA Brazil. Physical activity was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Five cardiovascular risk scores were used: Framingham score - coronary heart disease (cholesterol); Framingham score - coronary heart disease (LDL-C); Framingham score - cardiovascular disease (cholesterol); Framingham score - cardiovascular disease (body mass index, BMI); and pooled cohort equations for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Associations adjusted for confounding variables between physical activity and different cardiovascular risk scores were analyzed by logistic regression. Confidence interval of 95% (95%CI) was considered.

Results: LTPA is inversely associated with almost all cardiovascular risk scores analyzed, while CPA shows no statistically significant association with any of them. Dose-response effect in association between LTPA and cardiovascular risk scores was also found, especially in men.

Conclusions: LTPA was shown to be associated with the cardiovascular risk scores analyzed, but CPA not. The amount of physical activity (duration and intensity) was more significantly associated, especially in men, with cardiovascular risk scores in ELSA-Brasil.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors

Grants and funding

This study was funded by Ministério da Saúde do Brasil, Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia do Brasil and CNPq, process nº 01 06 0010.00RS, 01 06 0212.00BA, 01 06 0300.00ES, 01 06 0278.00MG, 01 06 0115.00SP, 01 06 0071.00RJ.