London [UK]April 20 (ANI): An article published in the Scandinavian Journal of MedicineScience in Sports claimed that sedentary time can increase heart size three times more than moderate to vigorous physical activity among young people.
The study was carried out in collaboration between the University of Bristol in Great Britain, the University of Exeter in Great Britain and the University of Eastern Finland. The researchers examined the relationships between sedentary time, light physical activity and moderate to vigorous physical activity with heart structure and function.
New reports and guidelines from the World Health Organization note that more than 80 percent of young people worldwide have insufficient physical activity per day. Physical inactivity has been associated with several non-communicable diseases in adults such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. In the pediatric population, the majority of physical activity studies have focused on the effect of sedentary behavior and physical activity on cardiometabolic health, which includes blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood lipids, and body mass index.
There has been a gap in knowledge about the effect of sedentary time and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on cardiac structure and function in large adolescents due to the lack of device-measured exercise behavior and echocardiography assessment in the pediatric population. A higher left ventricular mass, indicating an enlarged or hypertrophied heart, and a reduced left ventricular function, indicating impaired heart function, can in combination or independently lead to an increased risk of heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, and premature cardiovascular death.
The current study, which used data from the University of Bristol study Children of the 90s (also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) included 530 adolescents aged 17 years who had complete measurements of fat mass, muscle mass, glucose, lipids, an inflammation marker , insulin, smoking status, socioeconomic status, family history of cardiovascular disease, echocardiographic cardiac function and structural measures, and accelerometer-based measures of sedentary time, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
On average, adolescents in this new study spent nearly 8 hours/day sedentary and about 49 minutes/day in moderate to vigorous physical activity. It was observed that both sedentary time and moderate to vigorous physical activity were associated with higher left ventricular mass. However, the increase in heart mass (3.8 g/m2.7) associated with sedentary time was three times greater than the increase in heart mass (1.2 g/m2.7) associated with moderate to vigorous physical activity. This finding was observed in youth regardless of their obesity status, i.e. among youth who were normal weight and those who were overweight or obese. Importantly, light physical activity was not associated with an increase in cardiac mass but was associated with better cardiac function as estimated from left ventricular diastolic function.
“This new evidence extends our knowledge of the negative effects of sedentary time on heart health. It is known among adults that an increase in heart mass of 5 g/m2 can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death by 7-20%. Engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity also slightly enlarged the heart, but this appears to be an acceptable negative side effect given several other health benefits of moderate to vigorous exercise. Therefore, public health experts, health policy makers, high school administrators and teachers, pediatricians, and health care providers are encouraged to facilitate youth participation in physical activity to enable a healthy heart, says Andrew Agbaje, a physician and clinical epidemiologist at the University of Eastern Finland.(ANI)