(HealthDay)—Directly measured fitness is more strongly associated with cardiovascular risk than self-reported physical activity level, according to research published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.
Camille Michael Minder, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from the International Physical Activity Questionnaire: Short Form (IPAQ-SF) and treadmill stress tests for 2,800 healthy Brazilian subjects undergoing employer-sponsored screening (mean age, 43 ± 9 years; 81 percent male; 43 percent highly active). The association between self-reported physical activity level and objectively measured physical fitness, and the association of each with cardiometabolic risk, was examined.
The researchers found that self-reported physical activity level and fitness were moderately correlated (r = 0.377). Compared with IPAQ-SF category, a stronger correlation was found between fitness and cardiometabolic risk factors, including anthropomorphic measurements, blood pressure, dyslipidemia, fasting blood glucose, hepatic steatosis, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (all P < 0.01). When IPAQ-SF and fitness did not agree, the association with higher cardiometabolic risk was driven by poor fitness.
"When analyzing two discordant groups of unfit/active and fit/inactive subjects, we found that fitness correlated better with cardiometabolic risk than did self-reported physical activity," the authors write.