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Validation of reported physical activity for cholesterol control using two different physical activity instruments

Authors Fan A, Ham SA, Muppidi SR, Mokdad AH

Published 6 August 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 649—661


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Amy Z Fan1, Sandra A Ham2, Shravani Reddy Muppidi3, Ali H Mokdad4

1Behavioral Surveillance Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; 2Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA; 3College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; 4Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Abstract: The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends increasing physical activity to improve cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. We examined whether US adults who reported increasing their physical activity to control or lower blood cholesterol following physician’s advice or on their own efforts had higher levels of physical activity than those who reported that they did not. We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004, which implemented two physical activity assessment instruments. The physical activity questionnaire (PAQ) assessed self-reported frequency, intensity, and duration of leisure-time, household, and transportation-related physical activity in the past month. Physical movement was objectively monitored using a waist accelerometer that assessed minute-by-minute intensity (counts of movement/minute) during waking time over a 7-day period. We adjusted our analysis for age, gender, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and body mass index. Participants who reported increasing physical activity to control blood cholesterol had more PAQ-assessed physical activity and more accelerometer-assessed active days per week compared to those who did not. However, there were no significant differences in cholesterol levels between comparison groups. These findings suggest that self-report of exercising more to control or lower cholesterol levels among US adults might be valid.

Keywords: accelerometer, cardiovascular diseases, hypercholesterolemia, physical activity, risk reduction behavior

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