Sedentary lifestyle ups CVD risk in healthy people
Living a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) even in people with healthy body mass index (BMI), reports a new study.
The study included adults aged 40–79 years who either had a healthy BMI (18.5–24.9 kg/m2) or were overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2). CVD risk was evaluated using the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association atherosclerotic CVD risk score.
Of those with healthy BMI, 7.6 percent reported experiencing shortness of breath while hurriedly walking in level ground or while walking uphill. In the overweight participants, the corresponding percentage was 59.3 percent. Though this marker does not absolutely define a sedentary lifestyle, it can act as a general indication of fitness.
In terms of other physical activity, 15.3 percent of those with healthy BMI were considered inactive, and a similar proportion reported high levels of sitting times. An unhealthy waist circumference was documented in 20.4 percent of healthy-BMI participants.
Multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis found that participants with healthy BMI but with markers of an unhealthy lifestyle have comparable risks of CVDs as those who were overweight. For instance, those with BMI 18.5–24.9 kg/m2 but reported shortness of breath were just as likely as their overweight counterparts to develop CVDs (odds ratio [OR], 1.35; 95 percent CI, 0.65–2.79).
The same was true for having low levels of physical activity (OR, 0.73; 0.43–1.23) and having an unhealthy waist circumference (OR, 0.99; 0.60–1.61).
In contrast, healthy-BMI participants with markers of a healthy lifestyle (no shortness of breath, good physical activity, healthy waist circumference) were significantly less likely to develop CVDs.