Background: Because of high prevalence of coronary artery diseases (CADs) in Iran and their relationship with low physical activity (LPA), this study aimed to measure the epidemic size of LPA, its incidence rate, and its relationship with other CAD risk factors in Kerman, Iran.
Methods: About 10,000 adults were randomly recruited through single-stage cluster sampling. Demographic characteristics, biochemical variables, smoking, opium use, mental status, and physical activities were assessed. The relationship between LPA and 7 other CAD risk factors was measured. Five-year incidence rate of LPA was calculated according to the data from the physically active participants in the first phase of the study (n = 3416) who attended the second phase after 5 years.
Results: The prevalence of low, moderate, and intense physical activity was 47.2%, 34.8%, and 18.0%, respectively. LPA rose from 45.1% to 62.2% after the age of 25 years. Women had higher LPA than men. Participants with LPA had significantly higher chance of cigarette smoking, diabetes, overweight/obesity, hypertension, and opium addiction. Five-year incidence rate of LPA was 5.1 persons/100 person-years among physically active population.
Conclusion: Almost half of the studied population suffering from LPA was at risk of CAD. Such risky lifestyle pattern while worsened in the last 5 years makes the emerging of CAD epidemic unavoidable, if appropriate timely interventions not being in place accordingly.
Keywords: Kerman (Iran); coronary artery disease; demography; lifestyle; mental status; opium use.