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Physical activity and markers of insulin resistance in adolescents: role of cardiorespiratory fitness levels – the HELENA study

Authors

  • David Jiménez-Pavón,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    2. Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    • GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • Jonatan R Ruiz,

    1. Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Physical Education and Sport, School of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • Francisco B Ortega,

    1. Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Physical Education and Sport, School of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • David Martínez-Gómez,

    1. Immunonutrition Research Group, Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
    2. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid/IdiPAZ, CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health, Madrid, Spain
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  • Sara Moreno,

    1. Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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  • Alejandro Urzanqui,

    1. Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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  • Frederic Gottrand,

    1. Faculté de Médecine, Université de Lille2, Lille, France
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  • Dénes Molnár,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
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  • Manuel J Castillo,

    1. Department of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • Michael Sjöström,

    1. Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Luis A Moreno,

    1. GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • on behalf of the HELENA Study group


Corresponding author: Dr David Jiménez-Pavón,

GENUD: “Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development” Research Group, Department of Physiotherapy and Nursing,

School of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza,

Avd. Domingo Miral s/n, CP: 50009, Zaragoza, Spain.

Tel: +34976761000x4457;

fax: +34976761752;

e-mail: davidjimenez@unizar.es

Abstract

Objective

To analyze the association between objectively assessed physical activity (PA) and markers of insulin resistance (IR) in European adolescents and to examine whether the association of objectively assessed PA and markers of IR is modified by cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

Methods

A cross-sectional study at school setting was conducted in 1053 (554 girls) adolescents (12.5–17.5 yr). Weight, height, waist circumference, total body fat, PA (accelerometry), and CRF (20-m shuttle run test) were measured. Fasting insulin and glucose concentrations were measured, and homeostasis model assessment as well as quantitative insulin sensitivity check index were computed.

Results

In males, vigorous PA (VPA) was negatively associated with markers of IR after adjusting for confounders including waist circumference (all p < 0.05). In females, moderate PA, moderate to vigorous PA, and average PA were negatively associated with markers of IR after adjusting for confounders (all p < 0.05). Moreover, when the sample was segmented by CRF levels all the PA intensities were significantly associated with the markers of IR in females with low CRF but not in those with middle–high CRF after adjusting for confounders.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that PA is negatively associated with markers of IR after adjusting for confounders including total and central body fat in both sexes, but this relationship is modified by the CRF levels being especially important in those females with low CRF. Preventive strategies should focus not only on increasing the volume of PA but also on enhancing CRF through VPA.

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