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Relationship between physical activity and carotid intima–media thickness among teachers in South Africa: The SABPA study

Veldsman, T.
Swanepoel, M.
Monyeki, M.A.
Brits, J.S.
Malan, L.
Objective: To determine the relationship between objectively measured physical activity (PA) and carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) in teachers in South Africa. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 215 teachers aged 25 to 65 years (mean age 49.67 ± 8.43 years) who participated in the Sympathetic Activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans (SABPA) prospective cohort study. Ultrasound CIMT imaging was done using the SonoSite Micromaxx over seven consecutive days. Other measurements obtained included body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, and C-reactive protein (CRP) and fasting blood total cholesterol levels. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25. Results: The prevalence of obesity according to BMI and sedentary behaviour was above30%; hypertension was 38.9% and low-grade inflammation (CRP) was 41.1%. Male teach- ers showed higher mean values for CIMT than female teachers (0.75 ± 0.16 vs 0.66 ± 0.12 mm; p ≤ 0.05). A borderline negative association existed between CIMT and mean seven- day awake metabolic equivalent of task ( r = –0.19;p = 0.08) in female teachers in the light-PA group. CIMT was inversely associated with total energy expenditure ( r = –0.31; p = 0.05) in sedentary male teachers. Conclusion: Participation in light PA was associated with lower CIMT values in female teachers. Given the health implications of cardiovascular disease risk among teachers, PA intervention studies are recommended to determine effective interventions to provide information on how to decrease the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in this population
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South Africa , Carotid intima–media thickness , Physical activity , Sport and Recreation , SDG-03 Good health and well-being
Veldsman T, Swanepoel M, Monyeki MA, Brits JS, Malan L. Relationship between physical activity and carotid intima-media thickness among teachers in South Africa: The SABPA study. Cardiovasc J Afr. 2020 Nov-Dec;31(6):304-313. doi: 10.5830/CVJA-2020-024.
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