Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations Between Physical Activity and Blood Pressure in Adolescence: Birth Cohort Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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To explore cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between self-reported and accelerometry-based physical activity (PA) and blood pressure (BP) between 11 and 14 years of age.


Prospective birth cohort study in Pelotas, Brazil. Participants were 427 cohort members who were followed up with at 11, 12, and 14 years of age, and had questionnaire data on PA and BP at 11 and 14 years, as well as accelerometry and questionnaire data on PA at 12 years. Outcome measures were continuous systolic and diastolic BP at 14 years, and change in BP from 11 to 14 years.


PA was unrelated to systolic BP in any analyses. PA measured by accelerometry at 12 years, but not questionnaire-derived PA, was inversely associated with diastolic BP at 14 years of age in fully adjusted models. Those who exceeded the 300-minutes PA threshold at all 3 visits had a 2.6 mmHg lower mean increase in DBP from 11 to 14 years compared with those classified below the threshold in all visits.


Accelerometry-based PA was longitudinally inversely associated with diastolic BP. This finding was not evident when analyzing self-reported PA at a given age, suggesting a possible underestimation of the association when using subjective data.

Hallal, Araújo, and Victora are with the Post-graduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Dumith is with the Dept of Social Medicine, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Reichert is with the Dept of Physical Education, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil. Menezes is with the Dept of Clinical Medicine, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Wells is with the Childhood Nutrition Centre, Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom. Ekelund is with the MRC Epidemiology Unit, Cambridge, UK.