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Heather M. Hayes, Joey C. Eisenmann, Karin Pfeiffer and Joseph J. Carlson


The purpose of this study was to determine the independent and joint association of weight status and physical activity on resting blood pressure and C-reactive protein in children.


Participants were 174 (71 males, 103 females) children (mean age = 10.5 ± 0.4 yrs). Physical activity was self-reported, body mass index was calculated from measured height and body mass, and blood pressure was measured according to standard procedures. A subset of 91 children had C-reactive protein measured by fingerstick blood sample. Four weight/physical activity groups were created by cross tabulation of weight status classification and physical activity level.


The prevalence of low physical activity (< 5 days/wk moderate-vigorous activity) did not differ between overweight and normal weight children (50%). Physical activity was not correlated with C-reactive protein (r = 0.01; P = 0.91) and C-reactive protein was not significantly different between physical activity groups (P = 0.87). Physical activity did not modify the difference in blood pressure or C-reactive protein within weight categories.


Fatness (specifically overweight and obesity), but not physical activity, was shown to be associated with blood pressure and C-reactive protein levels in children. Physical activity did not attenuate blood pressure or C-reactive protein in overweight and obese children.

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Heather Hayes Betz, Joey C. Eisenmann, Kelly R. Laurson, Katrina D. DuBose, Mathew J. Reeves, Joseph J. Carlson and Karin A. Pfeiffer

Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine the independent and combined association of physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with blood pressure in youth. Methods: Youth aged 8–18 years from the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) with BMI, blood pressure, and physical activity (accelerometer) were included in the analyses. A total of 2585 subjects (1303 males; 47% of all 8- to 18-year-olds) met these criteria. Results: Obese youth had a systolic blood pressure that was 8 mm Hg higher than normal weight youth. A significant interaction between BMI and physical activity on blood pressure was found (P < .001), and group differences among the BMI/activity groups showed that the 3 obese groups and the overweight/least active group had significantly higher systolic blood pressure than the normal weight/active group across all analyses. The overweight/least active and normal weight/least active groups had significantly higher diastolic blood pressure than the normal weight/active group as well. Conclusions: This study showed a significant independent and combined association of BMI and physical activity with blood pressure in youth. Interventions need to focus on the reduction of fatness/BMI as a way to reduce the cardiovascular risk in youth.