What is it about?

Aerobic fitness is an important marker of health in children. However, there are no previous studies on the level of directly measured peak oxygen uptake that is linked to increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Peak oxygen uptake is the best measure of children's maximal aerobic fitness wherease metabolic syndrome is a strong predictor of type diabetes and heart diseases. We found that boys and girls with peak oxygen uptake <45.8 and <44.1 mL/kg of body mass, respectively, showed elevated risk of metabolic syndrome. However, our results were not than simple. Because body mass includes both msucle mass and fat mass, we also looked at what happens when when aerobic fitness is scaled using muscle mass, the tissue that is responsible for movement. Using such approach, children with higher aerobic fitness still had lower risk of metabolic syndrome than others, but the association was much weaker than that of aerobic fitness scaled by body mass. Thus, the link between fitness and metabolic syndrome was partly explained by body fat percentage.

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Why is it important?

Finding children with increased risk of metabolic syndrome is important, because earlier we can find those children, earlier we can initiate actions to improve their fitness and decrease their risk of metabolic syndrome. Early actions may therefore prevent or postpone type 2 diabetes and heart diseases that may accur later in life.


Nice first paper of my PhD student. And such an important topic.

Dr. Eero Haapala
University of Jyväskylä

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Peak oxygen uptake cut-points to identify children at increased cardiometabolic risk - The PANIC Study, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, October 2018, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/sms.13307.
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