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Han C.G. Kemper, G. Bertheke Post and Jos W.R. Twisk

This longitudinal study evaluates the relationship of food intake and physical activity with biological maturation of 200 boys and girls during adolescence and young adulthood. The subjects were followed during 9 years from ages 12 to 22 years, with repeated measurements at ages 13, 14, 15, 16, and 21. Biological maturation was estimated four times between ages 12 and 17 as skeletal age by radiographs of the left hand and wrist. Daily nutritional intake (macro- and micronutrients) was assessed with a cross-checked dietary history method. Daily physical activity was assessed through structured interview, whereby average weekly time spent in activity was used to assign a weighted activity score. The 107 girls and 93 boys were divided into three maturity groups: early maturers, late maturers, and average maturers. It was concluded that in both sexes, late maturation seemed to coincide with a higher energetic food intake and a slightly higher activity pattern than early maturation during adolescence.

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Jorge Mota, José Carlos Ribeiro, Henrique Barros, Jos W.R. Twisk, José Oliveira and José A. Duarte

Background:

The purpose of the study was to investigate the longitudinal relationship between physical activity and clustering of some cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors after 1-y follow-up.

Methods:

The sample comprised 704 males and 770 females between the ages of 8 to 15 y. Clustering was defined as belonging to one or more sex and age-specific “high-risk” quartiles for biological risk factors. The longitudinal relationships were analyzed with multilevel analysis.

Results:

There was no longitudinal significant relationship between physical activity and individual biological risk factors. When biological risk factor clustering was considered, however, there was a significant longitudinal relationship with physical activity.

Conclusion:

It can be concluded that even at a young age, physical activity can play an important role in developing a healthy lifestyle profile.

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Anna-Eva Prick, Jacomine de Lange, Erik Scherder, Jos Twisk and Anne Margriet Pot

The objective was to evaluate the effects of a multicomponent dyadic intervention on the cognitive functioning of people with dementia living at home in a randomized controlled trial. People with dementia and their family caregivers (n = 111) were randomly assigned to 8 home-based sessions including physical exercise and support or a minimal intervention consisting of monthly written information bulletins and monthly phone calls. Memory, executive functioning (EF), and attention were assessed at baseline, and after 3 (postmeasurement) and 6 months (follow-up). Data were analyzed by using generalized estimating equations (GEE). A small, significant effect was found on attention. No effects were found on memory and EF. Finding only a small significant effect might be explained by the ineffectiveness of the intervention, but also by moderate treatment adherence or a lack of room for improvement because half of the people with dementia were already receiving care in a day care facility.

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Jitske Groothausen, Hanneke Siemer, Han C.G. Kemper, Jos Twisk and Desiree C. Welten

In 83 males and 99 females, the relation between peak strain physical activity (PSPA) from 13 to 27 years and lumbar bone mineral density (LBMD) at age 27 was studied. Physical activity was measured longitudinally by an interview six times between ages 13 and 27. Peak strain scores based on ground reaction forces were developed to quantify all registrated activities for peak strain. LBMD was determined once at age 27. Four PSPA periods were considered: the teenage period (13–17 years), the period between 13 and 21 years, the adult period (21–27 years), and the total period (13–27 years). In multiple linear regression analyses, with body weight and gender as covariates, PSPA appeared to be a significant positive predictor for LBMD at age 27 in both males and females for all analyzed periods. The explained variance of PSPA for LBMD was the highest (25%) for the total period and the lowest (8%) for the teenage period.

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Han C.G. Kemper, Jos W.R. Twisk and Willem van Mechelen

In the Amsterdam Growth And Health Longitudinal Study (AGAHLS), a group of approximately 650 12- to 14-year-old boys and girls was followed in their growth, and development of their health their lifestyle including diet, physical activity and smoking. One of the main interests was the change in their aerobic fitness. From 12 to 36 years of age in total, eight repeated measurements were performed to measure peak oxygen uptake (peak VO2). In this study the data of peak VO2 are revisited and extended: We made use of all collected data as a mixed longitudinal design including cross-sectionally measured subjects as well as longitudinally measured subjects. This led to the availability of 1,194 boys and 1356 girls. With generalized estimating equations (GEE) the longitudinal changes with chronological age and differences between boys and girls were analyzed. Teenage boys and girls increased their peak VO2 (ml/min) significantly (p < .001) until age 14 in girls and until age 17 in boys. However peak VO2 relative to bodyweight (peak VO2/BW) had significantly (p < .001) decreased over the whole age range from 12 to 36 in both sexes. Vigorous physical activity (VPA) also showed a decrease and was significantly (p < .001) related with lower peak VO2/BW (Beta = 0.001). This relation was stronger in boys than in girls. Because at the start of AGAHLS no fast responding metabolic instruments were available, future longitudinal studies about aerobic fitness should include also measurement of VO2 kinetics.

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Trynke Hoekstra, Colin A. Boreham, Liam J. Murray and Jos W.R. Twisk

Background:

It is not clear what the relative contribution is of specific components of physical fitness (aerobic and muscular) to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We investigated associations between aerobic fitness (endurance) and muscular fitness (power) and CVD risk factors.

Methods:

Data were obtained from the Young Hearts project, a representative sample of 12- and 15-year-old boys and girls from Northern Ireland (N = 2016). Aerobic fitness was determined by the 20-m shuttle run test, muscular fitness by the Sargent jump test. CVD risk factors included sum of skinfolds, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum total cholesterol (TC), HDL cholesterol, and TC:HDL ratio. Several linear regression analyses were conducted for 4 age and gender groups separately, with the risk factor as the outcome variable.

Results:

Significant associations between aerobic fitness and a healthy CVD risk profile were found. These observed relationships were independent of power, whereas the (few) relationships between muscular fitness and the risk factors were partly explained by endurance.

Conclusions:

Tailored, preventive strategies during adolescence, incorporating endurance rather than power sports, could be encouraged to help prevent CVD. This is important because existing studies propose that healthiness during adulthood is founded on healthiness in adolescence.

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Doeschka A. Ferro, Jan Berend Deijen, Lando L. Koppes, Willem van Mechelen, Jos W. Twisk and Madeleine L. Drent

Background:

Physical activity and fitness in adolescence may improve cognition in adulthood by increasing insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I).

Methods:

As part of the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study, following subjects from age 13 to 42 years, physical activity and fitness of 303 subjects were assessed annually between the ages 13 to 16. At mean age 36, physical activity, fitness and IGF-I were measured. At mean age 42, IGF-I and cognitive factors (ie, executive functioning and visual-spatial memory) were measured. The linear regression of physical activity and fitness in adolescence and IGF-I in adulthood on cognitive scores in adulthood was investigated.

Results:

A significant association was found in males between physical activity in adolescence and executive function in adulthood (Spatial Working Memory Between Errors: β = –.18, B = –.13, 95% CI = –.259 to –.010; Spatial Working Memory Strategy: β = –.20, B = –.08, 95% CI = –.147 to –.014). No association between physical activity or fitness in adolescence and cognitive function in adulthood was found in females, nor any intermediate role for IGF-I in either sex.

Conclusions:

The results suggest a stimulating effect of adolescent physical activity in males on executive functions in adulthood, emphasizing the importance of an active lifestyle among adolescent males.

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Olga J.E. Kilkens, Britt A.J. Gijtenbeek, Jos W.R. Twisk, Willem van Mechelen and Han C.G. Kemper

The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate whether lifestyle risk factors cluster and (b) to investigate the influence of this clustering on biological CVD risk factors. This study was part of the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study (AGHS), an observational longitudinal study in which 6 repeated measurements were carried out on 181 13-year-old subjects over a period of 15 years. A longitudinal analysis (carried out with generalized estimating equations) showed no significant clustering of lifestyle risk factors at the population level. For each subject at each separate measurement period, lifestyle risk factors were summed to form a cluster score. A longitudinal linear regression analysis showed no significant relationship between the cluster score and biological CVD risk factors, except for a significant inverse relationship with cardiopulmonary fitness. In general, however, the results did not support the assumption that clustering of unhealthy lifestyle is related to biological CVD risk factors.