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Kelley Pettee Gabriel, Adriana Pérez, David R. Jacobs Jr, Joowon Lee, Harold W. Kohl III and Barbara Sternfeld

Background: Single-method assessment of physical activity (PA) has limitations. The utility and cross-validation of a composite PA score that includes reported and accelerometer-derived PA data has not been evaluated. Methods: Participants attending the Year 20 exam were randomly assigned to the derivation (two-thirds) or validation (one-third) data set. Principal components analysis was used to create a composite score reflecting Year 20 combined reported and accelerometer PA data. Generalized linear regression models were constructed to estimate the variability explained (R 2) by each PA assessment strategy (self-report only, accelerometer only, composite score, or self-report plus accelerometer) with cardiovascular health indicators. This process was repeated in the validation set to determine cross-validation. Results: At Year 20, 3549 participants (45.2 [3.6] y, 56.7% female, and 53.5% black) attended the clinic exam and 2540 agreed to wear the accelerometer. Higher R 2 values were obtained when combined assessment strategies were used; however, the approach yielding the highest R 2 value varied by cardiovascular health outcome. Findings from the cross-validation also supported internal study validity. Conclusions: Findings support continued refinement of methodological approaches to combine data from multiple sources to create a more robust estimate that reflects the complexities of PA behavior.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong Do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the cross-sectional associations of participation in muscle-strengthening activities (MSAs) with carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) among older adults. The data are from 2,557 older adult participants enrolled in an observational cohort who reported no history of cardiovascular disease. MSA was determined using a questionnaire. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure the CIMT of the common carotid artery bilaterally. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association of MSA with CIMT after adjustment for potential confounders. The participants were aged 68.6 ± 7.0 years, and the majority were male (71.7%) and White (96.5%); 18% had abnormal CIMT. Meeting the physical activity guidelines for MSA was inversely associated with abnormal CIMT after adjustment for age and sex. However, this observed inverse relation became statistically null after further adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors, including aerobic physical activity.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between self-reported physical activity (PA) and mean common carotid artery intima–media thickness (CCA IMT) among older adults. The data are from 1,811 Cooper Center Longitudinal Study participants, who were aged ≥60 years, with no history of cardiovascular disease. A medical history questionnaire was used to assess PA. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure CCA IMT and the presence of plaque and stenosis. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association between PA and CCA IMT after adjustment for covariates. The participants were aged 69.2 ± 5.9 years, and the majority were male (73.3%) and White (96.7%). The odds ratio of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT was 0.72 (95% confidence interval [0.54, 0.96]) in physically active participants (≥500 metabolic equivalent·min/week) after adjustment for covariates. In the current study, meeting PA guidelines in older adulthood was associated with lower odds of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT.