The Prevalence of Selected Modifiable Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors in 12-Year-Old Greek Boys and Girls

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The prevalence of 14 selected modifiable coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors was determined in randomly selected adolescent boys (n = 117) and girls (n = 93) from provincial Greece. Based on published criteria thresholds for CHD, 45% of boys and 50% of girls exhibited three or more risk factors with time spent on “vigorous” activities, low cardiorespiratory fitness and fatness being among the most frequent in both sexes. Stronger associations were found between cardiorespiratory fitness and time spent on “vigorous” rather than “moderate-to-vigorous” activities in both boys and girls. Regression analysis indicated that energy expenditure (P < .01) in boys and energy expenditure (P < .05) and energy intake (P < .01) in girls could alone explain about 60% of the body-fat related findings in either group. Broadly based primary prevention strategies aimed at children should concentrate on reducing the overall energy intake and increasing the time spent on “vigorous” activities if future Greek adult CHD mortality is to be reduced.

C. Bouziotas and R. Shiner are with the School of Health Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, WV1-1DJ, England, UK; Y. Koutedakis is with T.E.F.A.A., Thessaly University, Trikala, Greece and the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, UK; Y. Pananakakis is with S.E.G.A.S., Sports Medicine Center, Athens, Greece; V. Fotopoulou is at Parmenionos 10, 60100 Katerini, Greece; and S. Gara is with the National Hospital of Katerini, Greece.