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While links between physical activity and metabolic traits are known, most prior studies have lacked longitudinal data on objectively measured activity to examine the dynamic nature of these links. In their study of 1,826 participants of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort, Bell and colleagues used accelerometry to examine physical activity on 3 separate occasions across adolescence -- when aged 12y, 14y, and 15y -- in relation to over 200 detailed metabolic traits at age 15y. This allowed the researchers to compare the importance of current activity, longer-term activity, and change in activity, and to examine whether potential benefits of current activity depend on previous activity. The metabolic traits included blood pressure, blood lipids, glycaemic factors and inflammatory markers. Study limitations included modest sample sizes and relatively short durations of accelerometry measurement on each occasion (3 to 7 days).
The researchers found that, generally, higher current total activity was associated with favourable metabolic trait levels including lower VLDL and remnant cholesterol, higher HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and lower inflammatory factors; and that these did not vary according to previous activity levels. Patterns were...
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