Association Between Aerobic Fitness and High Blood Pressure in Adolescents in Brazil: Evidence for Criterion-Referenced Cut-Points

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Purpose:

Criterion-referenced cut-points for health-related fitness measures are lacking. This study aimed to determine the associations between aerobic fitness and high blood pressure levels (HBP) to determine the cut-points that best predict HBP among adolescents.

Method:

This cross-sectional school-based study with sample of 875 adolescents aged 14–19 years was conducted in southern Brazil. Aerobic fitness was assessed using the modified Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test (mCAFT). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured by the oscillometric method with a digital sphygmomanometer. Analyses controlled for sociodemographic variables, physical activity, body mass and biological maturation.

Results:

Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves demonstrated that mCAFT measures could discriminate HBP in both sexes (female: AUC = 0.70; male: AUC = 0.63). The cut-points with the best discriminatory power for HBP were 32 mL·kg-1·min-1 for females and 40 mL·kg-1·min-1 for males. Females (OR = 8.4; 95% CI: 2.1, 33.7) and males (OR: 2.5; CI 95%: 1.2, 5.2) with low aerobic fitness levels were more likely to have HBP.

Conclusion:

mCAFT measures are inversely associated with BP and cut-points from ROC analyses have good discriminatory power for HBP.

Silva and Petroski are with the Dept. of Physical Education, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Tremblay is with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Reseach Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Pelegrini is with the Dept. of Physical Activity, State University of Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Silva and de Oliveira are with the Federal University of Sergipe, Sergipe, Brazil.

Address author correspondence to Diego Augusto Santos Silva at diegoaugustoss@yahoo.com.br.