Differences in Health Behavior, Physical Fitness, and Cardiovascular Risk in Early, Average, and Late Mature Children

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Clemens Drenowatz Ulm University Medical Center

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Olivia Wartha Ulm University Medical Center

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Jochen Klenk Ulm University

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Susanne Brandstetter University of Regensburg

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Martin Wabitsch Ulm University Medical Center

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Jürgen Steinacker Ulm University Medical Center

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This study examined the association between biological maturity, CVD risk, fitness and health behavior in 709 (359 male, 350 female) 8-year-old children (range: 6.3–8.9 years). Sports participation and sedentary behavior was assessed via parent questionnaire. Height and weight was measured and maturity status was predicted based on % of adult-height reached. Fitness was assessed via a test battery and CVD risk was determined using mean arterial pressure, cholesterol and intra-abdominal fat. BMIpercentiles (BMIPCT) differed significantly among early, average and late maturing children. Early maturing children displayed a higher CVD risk profile (0.5 vs. -0.2), lower fitness scores (-0.4 vs. 0.2), and spent more time watching TV (51 vs. 43 min/day) compared with their peers. After controlling for BMIPCT differences remained only for fitness in boys and TV time in girls.

Drenowatz, Wartha, and Steinacker are with the Division of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine, Ulm University Medical Center, Ulm, Germany. Klenk is with the Institute for Epidemiology and Medical Biometrics, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany. Brandstetter is with the Institute for Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. Wabitsch is with the Division of Pediatic Endocrinology and Diabetology, Ulm University Medical Center, Ulm, Germany.

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