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  • 1.
    Fernström, Maria
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Department of Medical Diagnostics, Medical Faculty, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Fernberg, Ulrika
    Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Medical Faculty, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden .
    Eliason, Gabriella
    Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Department of Medical Diagnostics, Medical Faculty, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Hurtig-Wennlöf, Anita
    Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Department of Medical Diagnostics, Medical Faculty, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Aerobic fitness is associated with low cardiovascular disease risk: the impact of lifestyle on early risk factors for atherosclerosis in young healthy Swedish individuals - the Lifestyle, Biomarker, and Atherosclerosis study2017In: Vascular Health and Risk Management, ISSN 1176-6344, E-ISSN 1178-2048, Vol. 13, p. 91-99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis is slow and develops over decades. In the cross-sectional Swedish Lifestyle, Biomarker, and Atherosclerosis study, 834 young, self-reported healthy adults aged 18.0-25.9 years have been studied to identify early risk factors for atherosclerosis.

    Purpose: The aims of this study were to 1) assess selected cardiometabolic biomarkers, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) as a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, and lifestyle-related indicators (food habits, handgrip strength, and oxygen uptake, VO(2)max);2) analyze the associations between cIMT and lifestyle factors; and 3) identify subjects at risk of CVD using a risk score and to compare the characteristics of subjects with and without risk of CVD.

    Method: Blood samples were taken in a fasting state, and food habits were reported through a questionnaire. cIMT was measured by ultrasound, and VO2 max was measured by ergometer bike test. The risk score was calculated according to Wildman.

    Result: cIMT (mean +/- standard deviation) was 0.50 +/- 0.06 mm, and VO2 max values were 37.8 +/- 8.5 and 42.9 +/- 9.9 mL/kg/min, in women and men, respectively. No correlation was found between aerobic fitness expressed as VO2 max (mL/kg/min) and cIMT. Using Wildman's definition, 12% of the subjects were classified as being at risk of CVD, and 15% had homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. A total of 35% of women and 25% of men had lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than recommended. Food habits did not differ between those at risk and those not at risk. However, aerobic fitness measured as VO2 max (mL/kg/min) differed; 47% of the subjects at risk had low aerobic fitness compared to 23% of the nonrisk subjects (P<0.001).

    Conclusion: High aerobic fitness is associated with low CVD risk in Swedish young adults. The high prevalence of young adults observed with unfavorable levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance raises concerns about future CVD risk.

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