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Leisure-time physical activity across adulthood and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease at age 60–64: A prospective cohort study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel CooperORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Authors. Background and aims: This study examined associations between leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) across adulthood (from age 36) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarkers at age 60–64. Methods: LTPA was reported by study participants from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development at ages 36, 43, 53 and 60–64 (n = 1754) and categorised as inactive, moderately active (1–4/month) or most active (5+/month) at each age. Linear regression was used to examine associations between a cumulative adulthood LTPA score (range = 0–8), and change in LTPA between ages 36 and 60–64 (i.e. always inactive, became inactive, became active, always active) and inflammatory [C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6)], endothelial [tissue-Plasminogen Activator (t-PA), E-selectin] and adipokine [leptin, adiponectin] measures extracted from overnight fasting blood samples at age 60–64. Results: The more active a participant was over adulthood, the better their biomarker profile, e.g. fully-adjusted difference in t-PA (both sexes) and adiponectin (women) per unit increase in the LTPA score (95% confidence interval) = −2.2% (−3.6; −0.8) and 2.0% (0.2; 3.8). Those that became active at age 60–64 showed slightly healthier biomarker profiles than those that became inactive [e.g. fully-adjusted difference in IL-6 = −9.9% (−23.9; 4.1) vs. −3.8% (−12.4; 4.8)], although the best profiles were seen for those always active [IL-6: −15.0% (−24.2; −5.7)], when compared with the always inactive group. Conclusions: Greater accumulation of LTPA across adulthood was associated with a more favourable CVD biomarker profile in early old age. Earlier uptake and long-term maintenance of LTPA may provide the greatest benefits for CVD prevention.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elhakeem A, Murray ET, Cooper R, Kuh D, Whincup P, Hardy R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Atherosclerosis

Year: 2018

Volume: 269

Pages: 279-287

Print publication date: 01/02/2018

Online publication date: 20/11/2017

Acceptance date: 16/11/2017

Date deposited: 21/01/2022

ISSN (print): 0021-9150

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1484

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.11.019

PubMed id: 29180005


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