Adolescent Fitness Tied to Cardiometabolic Health Years Later

Ella Castle

Photo Credit: Natee127 Adolescent fitness is inversely associated with the burden of cardiometabolic conditions up to 45 years later, according to a study published online in the January issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. Perttu T.T. Laakso, from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and […]

Photo Credit: Natee127

Adolescent fitness is inversely associated with the burden of cardiometabolic conditions up to 45 years later, according to a study published online in the January issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

Perttu T.T. Laakso, from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and colleagues examined the effect of adolescent cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), muscular fitness (MF), and speed-agility fitness (SA) on middle-aged cardiometabolic disease risk. The analysis included participants evaluated in adolescence (12 to 19 years) and early (37 to 44 years) or late (57 to 64 years) middle age.

The researchers found that adolescent CRF was inversely associated with middle-age accumulated burden of cardiometabolic conditions, regardless of adiposity, in the whole sample (ß = −0.10) and with elevated blood pressure in women (odds ratio, 0.71). Overall, the associations were stronger in women than men. There was an inverse association of adolescent MF and SA with middle-aged waist circumference, but it did not show as consistent associations as with CRF.

“There have been publicly discussed concerns over how the deteriorating fitness of young people will affect the future labor force. This study gives us some scientific evidence to support that concern,” Laakso said in a statement. “Unfortunately, there is little sign of this concern being alleviated, given that the cardiorespiratory fitness level among today’s adolescents has been shown to be significantly lower than that of the adolescents examined in this study.”

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