The Associations Between Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Physical Activity, and Arterial Stiffness in Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $117.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $156.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $222.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $296.00


The primary aim of this population-based study was to determine if arterial stiffness is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor clustering and physical activity in youth 12−14 years old. We hypothesized that arterial stiffness would be positively associated with CVD risk factor clustering and negatively associated with physical activity in a dose-response manner in this cohort of youth.


This was a cross sectional study of 485 youth recruited from the 1995 Manitoba birth cohort. The primary outcome, arterial stiffness, was assessed noninvasively using conventional pulse wave analysis and velocity. The primary exposure variables included 1) a measure of cardiometabolic risk, defined as a composite of novel and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and 2) self-reported physical activity.


Neither cardiometabolic risk factor clustering, nor physical activity were associated with either measure of arterial stiffness in this cohort of youth 12−14 years. Cardiometabolic risk decreased with increasing levels of vigorous physical activity, (P < .05) and increased with increasing body mass index.


Cardiometabolic risk factor clustering and physical activity are not associated with arterial stiffness in youth 12−14 years of age. Increased vigorous physical activity is associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk in youth independent of body mass index.

The authors are with the Manitoba Institute of Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.