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.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2012|
- Physical activity
- Physical fitness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine