Independent associations between cardiorespiratory fitness, waist circumference, BMI, and clustered cardiometabolic risk in adolescents

Duncan S Buchan, John D Young, Lynne M Boddy, Julien S Baker
American Journal of Human Biology: the Official Journal of the Human Biology Council 2014, 26 (1): 29-35

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the independent associations between measures of adiposity and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) with clustered cardiometabolic risk in adolescents.

METHODS: 209 adolescents (139 boys), aged 15-17.5 years participated. Participants completed anthropometric measurements [height, weight, waist circumference (WC)] whilst the 20 m fitness test was used to assess CRF. Additional measures included systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, ratio total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin resistance (HOMA), interleukin-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and adiponectin.

RESULTS: Partial correlations revealed weak to moderate negative associations for body mass index (BMI) and WC with CRF (r = -0.295 and -0.292, P < 0.001) and adiponectin (r = -0.227 and -0.262, P < 0.05). Weak to moderate positive associations were evident for BMI with CRP, and cardiometabolic risk (r = 0.274, and 0.283, P < 0.05, respectively). Weak to moderate positive associations were apparent for WC with CRP and triglycerides (r = 0.240 and 0.254, P < 0.05), whilst moderate to large associations were evident for WC with clustered cardiometabolic risk (r = 0.317, P < 0.05). Regression analyses revealed that BMI was positively associated with cardiometabolic risk (β = 0.243, P < 0.001). Further analysis whilst additionally controlling for WC and CRF strengthened this association (β = 0.352, P < 0.001). Finally, participants in the least-fit quartile for CRF had significantly poorer cardiometabolic risk scores than those in the other quartiles.

CONCLUSION: BMI and not CRF was independently associated with cardiometabolic risk. Reducing BMI appears essential to minimize cardiometabolic risk during adolescence.

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