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Firefighters' Physical Activity: Relation to Fitness and Cardiovascular Disease Risk.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21364484     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
PURPOSE:: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 44% of on-duty deaths among U.S. firefighters with a markedly higher event risk during strenuous duties compared to non-emergencies. Sedentary persons are most susceptible to such CVD "event-triggering" due to irregular bouts of vigorous physical activity (PA). Conversely, regular PA and increased levels of cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF) protect against CVD triggering. Therefore, the present study evaluates PA measures in structural firefighters and their relationship to CRF and CVD risk factors. METHODS:: Cross-sectional cohort study of 527 Midwestern career firefighters. PA frequency, duration and intensity measures from a questionnaire along with total weekly aerobic exercise were analyzed. CRF was measured by maximal exercise tolerance testing. CVD risk parameters included body composition, blood pressure and metabolic profiles. Group differences were compared using general linear models. RESULTS:: Measures of increasing frequency, duration, intensity of PA and total weekly exercise (minutes) were significantly associated with higher CRF (p<0.001) after adjustment for age, BMI, and smoking status. After multivariate adjustment, increasing PA frequency was significantly associated with reduced total cholesterol-HDL ratio (TC/HDL), triglycerides and glucose, as well as HDL increments. Increasing BMI category was associated with significant decrements in CRF and unfavorable dose-response trends in CVD risk factors (p<0.001), even for those reporting very frequent, sustained and intense PA. CONCLUSIONS:: Increasing PA has beneficial independent effects on CRF, and PA frequency has similar favorable effects on CVD risk profiles. While PA was beneficial regardless of BMI category, increasing BMI category had strong independent unfavorable effects. PA should be strongly encouraged for all firefighters with the highest priority given to PA frequency, followed by PA duration and intensity.
Authors:
Gerardo Durand; Antonios J Tsismenakis; Sara A Jahnke; Dorothee M Baur; Costas A Christophi; Stefanos N Kales
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-2-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medicine and science in sports and exercise     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1530-0315     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-3-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8005433     Medline TA:  Med Sci Sports Exerc     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
1 Department of Environmental Health, Environmental & Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02215, USA; 2 Employee & Industrial Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; 3 Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118,USA; 4 The Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research, NationalDevelopment and Research Institutes, Leawood, KS 66214, USA; 5 Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus.
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