Background: Most ischemic heart disease (IHD) prevention programs that promote physical activity (PA) have focused on overweight/obese populations. Persons with normal body mass index (BMI) may mistakenly think that they are not at risk for IHD and remain physically inactive. Studies exploring the risk of IHD and PA level among adults aged ≥45 years with normal weight are limited. Methods: Cross-sectional study to examine the prevalence of IHD and PA level among 94455 respondents aged ≥ 45 years with normal BMI using the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. Results: Approximately 50% of respondents reported low/inactive PA. The prevalence of IHD among persons with inactive, low, medium and high PA was 16.6% (15.1–18.1%), 9.6% (8.9–10.3%), 8.9% (8.3–9.6%),and 5.4% (95% CI=4.9–5.9%). The adjusted odds ratios of IHD among persons with low, medium, and high PA compared with those with inactive PA was 0.68 (0.59–0.79), 0.63 (0.54–0.73), and 0.49 (95% CI=0.42–0.57). Conclusions: The percentage of respondents with low or inactive PA among populations aged ≥45 years with BMI 18–<25 was alarmingly high and independently associated with higher IHD prevalence. Persons who are not overweight/obese still need to have adequate PA to reduce the risk of IHD.
Keywords: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, BMI, coronary heart disease, CHD, ischemic heart disease, LHD, Prevalence, Risk behavior