Objectively-measured and self-reported physical activity and fitness in relation to inflammatory markers in European adolescents: The HELENA Study

David Martinez-Gomez, Sonia Gomez-Martinez, Jonatan R. Ruiz, Ligia Esperanza Diaz, Francisco B. Ortega, Kurt Widhalm, Magdalena Cuenca-Garcia, Yannis Manios, Tineke De Vriendt, Denes Molnar, Inge Huybrechts, Christina Breidenassel, Frederic Gottrand, Maria Plada, Sara Moreno, Marika Ferrari, Luis A. Moreno, Michael Sjöström, Ascension Marcos

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49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Atherogenesis involves an inflammatory process that occurs early in life even though clinical symptoms are not observed until adulthood. Two important protective factors for low-grade inflammation may be physical activity (PA) and fitness. We examined the independent associations of objective and subjective measurements of PA and fitness with low-grade inflammation in European adolescents. Methods: A total of 1045 adolescents, aged from 12.5 to 17.5 years old from 10 European cities, were selected from the HELENA-Cross-Sectional Study. Objectively-measured and self-reported PA variables were obtained by accelerometry and the International PA Questionnaire for Adolescents, respectively. Overall, cardiorespiratory, muscular and motor fitness variables were assessed by standardized field-based fitness tests and the International Fitness Scale. C-reactive protein (CRP), complement factors 3 (C3) and 4 (C4), interleukin-6 and TNF-α inflammatory markers were measured. Results: Objectively-measured vigorous PA was inversely associated with C3 (β= -0.094, P= 0.021) but it did not remain significant after any objective fitness indicator was included in the model. Other objectively measured or self-reported assessments of PA were not significantly associated with inflammatory markers. All objective measures of fitness were inversely associated with CRP, C3 and C4, whereas only self-reported motor fitness remained significantly associated with C3, C4 and TNF-α. All these observations were independent of age, sex, city and body mass index or waist circumference. Conclusion: High PA in adolescence may play an indirect role on lessening low-grade inflammation through improvements in fitness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-267
Number of pages8
JournalAtherosclerosis
Volume221
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Inflammation
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Martinez-Gomez, D., Gomez-Martinez, S., Ruiz, J. R., Diaz, L. E., Ortega, F. B., Widhalm, K., Cuenca-Garcia, M., Manios, Y., De Vriendt, T., Molnar, D., Huybrechts, I., Breidenassel, C., Gottrand, F., Plada, M., Moreno, S., Ferrari, M., Moreno, L. A., Sjöström, M., & Marcos, A. (2012). Objectively-measured and self-reported physical activity and fitness in relation to inflammatory markers in European adolescents: The HELENA Study. Atherosclerosis, 221(1), 260-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.12.032