A cardiovascular comorbidity in obese adolescents is increased aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and left ventricular mass (LVM). We investigated in obese adolescents 1) the risk factors associated with aPWV, cIMT and LVM, and 2) the effects of aerobic (AE) versus resistance (RE) exercise alone (without calorie restriction) on aPWV, cIMT, LVM index (LVMI) and cardiometabolic risk factors. Eighty-one obese adolescents (12–18 yrs, BMI ≥95th percentile) were randomized to 3 months of AE (n = 30), RE (n = 27) or a control group (n = 24). Outcome measures included aPWV, cIMT, LVMI, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), blood pressure (BP) and lipids. At baseline, the strongest correlates of aPWV were body weight (r = .31) and diastolic BP (r = .28); of cIMT were body weight (r=0.26) and CRF (r=-0.25); and of LVMI was CRF (r=0.32) after adjusting for sex and race (p < .05 for all). Despite significant reductions in total fat and improvements in CRF in the AE and RE groups, aPWV, cIMT, LVMI, BP, lipids and body weight did not change as compared with controls (p > .05 for all). Interventions of longer duration or together with weight loss may be required to improve these early biomarkers of CVD in obese adolescents.
Horner and Lee are with the Division of Weight Management & Wellness, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Kuk is with the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada. Barinas-Mitchell is with the Dept. of Epidemiology Ultrasound Research Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA. Drant is with the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. DeGroff is with the Congenital Heart Center, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.