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  • Author: Leanna M. Ross x
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Leanna M. Ross, Jacob L. Barber, Alexander C. McLain, R. Glenn Weaver, Xuemei Sui, Steven N. Blair and Mark A. Sarzynski

Background: This study examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and ideal cardiovascular health (CVH). Methods: CRF and the 7 CVH components were measured in 11,590 (8865 males; 2725 females) adults at baseline and in 2532 (2160 males; 372 females) adults with at least one follow-up examination from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Ideal CVH score was calculated as a composite of 7 measures, each scored 0 to 2. CVH groups were based on participant point score: ≤7 (poor), 8 to 11 (intermediate), and 12 to 14 (ideal). Analyses included general linear, logistic regression, and linear mixed models. Results: At baseline, participants in the high CRF category had 21% and 45% higher mean CVH scores than those in the moderate and poor CRF categories (P < .001). The adjusted odds (95% confidence interval) of being in the poor CVH group at baseline were 4.9 (4.4–5.4) and 16.9 (14.3–19.9) times greater for individuals with moderate and low CRF, respectively, compared with those with high CRF (P < .001). Longitudinal analysis found that for every 1-minute increase in treadmill time, CVH score increased by 0.23 units (P < .001) independent of age, sex, exam number, and exam year. Conclusions: Higher CRF is associated with better CVH profiles, and improving CRF over time is independently associated with greater improvements in CVH.