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Physical activity intensity profiles associated with cardiometabolic risk in middle-aged to older men and women.

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Dempsey, Paddy C 
Aadland, Eivind 
Kvalheim, Olav M 


Accelerometers provide detailed data about physical activity (PA) across the full intensity spectrum. However, when examining associations with health, results are often aggregated to only a few summary measures [e.g. time spent "sedentary" or "moderate-to-vigorous" intensity PA]. Using multivariate pattern analysis, which can handle collinear exposure variables, we examined associations between the full PA intensity spectrum and cardiometabolic risk (CMR) in a population-based sample of middle-aged to older adults. Participants (n = 3660; mean ± SD age = 69 ± 8y and BMI = 26.7 ± 4.2 kg/m2; 55% female) from the EPIC-Norfolk study (UK) with valid accelerometry (ActiGraph-GT1M) data were included. We used multivariate pattern analysis with partial least squares regression to examine cross-sectional multivariate associations (r) across the full PA intensity spectrum [minutes/day at 0-5000 counts-per-minute (cpm); 5 s epoch] with a continuous CMR score (reflecting waist, blood pressure, lipid, and glucose metabolism). Models were sex-stratified and adjusted for potential confounders. There was a positive (detrimental) association between PA and CMR at 0-12 cpm (maximally-adjusted r = 0.08 (95%CI 0.06-0.10). PA was negatively (favourably) associated with CMR at all intensities above 13 cpm ranging between r = -0.09 (0.07-0.12) at 800-999 cpm and r = -0.14 (0.11-0.16) at 75-99 and 4000-4999 cpm. The strongest favourable associations were from 50 to 800 cpm (r = 0.10-0.12) in men, but from ≥2500 cpm (r = 0.18-0.20) in women; with higher proportions of model explained variance for women (R2 = 7.4% vs. 2.3%). Most of the PA intensity spectrum was beneficially associated with CMR in middle-aged to older adults, even at intensities lower than what has traditionally been considered "sedentary" or "light-intensity" activity. This supports encouragement of PA at almost any intensity in this age-group.



Accelerometer, Adiposity, Adults, Cardiometabolic, Cardiovascular disease, Collinearity, Diabetes, Multivariate pattern analysis, Physical activity, Sedentary, Accelerometry, Aged, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cross-Sectional Studies, Exercise, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Sedentary Behavior

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Elsevier BV
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/4)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/3)
Medical Research Council (MR/N003284/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/1)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
Medical Research Council (G1000143)
Medical Research Council (G0401527)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/1)
Medical Research Council (G0401527/1)
The EPIC-Norfolk study (DOI 10.22025/2019.10.105.00004) has received funding from the Medical Research Council (MR/N003284/1 and MC_UU_12015/1) and Cancer Research UK (C864/A14136). PCD is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia research fellowship (#1142685). PCD, TS, SB, KW and NJW are supported by the UK Medical Research Council [grant numbers MC_UU_00006/4 and MC_UU_12015/3]. TL is supported by the Cambridge Trust and St Catharine’s College. The work of KWe is supported by NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Cambridge (IS-BRC-1215-20014).