Does total volume of physical activity matter more than pattern for onset of CVD? A prospective cohort study of older British men

Barbara J Jefferis, Tessa J Parsons, Claudio Sartini, Sarah Ash, Lucy T Lennon, Olia Papacosta, Richard Morris, S Goya Wannamethee, I-Min Lee, Peter H Whincup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
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Aims: With increasing age, physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour levels increase, as does cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence. We investigate how device-measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity (PA) are related to CVD onset in men aged 70+; whether the total volume of activity is more important than pattern.
Methods and results: Prospective population-based cohort study of men recruited from 24 UK General Practices in 1978–80. In 2010–12, 3137 survivors were invited to complete questionnaires and wear an Actigraph GT3x accelerometer for 7 days. PA intensity was categorised as sedentary, light and moderate to vigorous (MVPA). Men were followed up for Myocardial Infarction, stroke and heart failure (ICD9 410–414, 430–438 and 428) morbidity and mortality from 2010 to 12 to June 2016. Hazard Ratios (HRs) for incident Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) were estimated. 1528/3137 (49%) men had sufficient accelerometer data. 254 men with pre-existing CVD were excluded. Participants' mean age was 78.4 (range 71–92) years. After median 4.9 years follow-up, 122 first CVD events occurred in 1181 men (22.7/1000 person-years) with complete data. For each additional 30 min in sedentary behaviour, light PA,10 min in MVPA, or 1000 steps/day, HRs for CVD were 1.09(95%CI 1.00, 1.19), 0.94(0.85, 1.04), 0.88(0.81, 0.96) and 0.86(0.78 to 0.95) respectively, adjusted for measurement-related factors, socio-demographics, health behaviours and disability. HRs for accumulating 150 min/week MVPA in bouts ≥1 min and bouts ≥10 min were 0.47(0.32 to 0.69), and 0.49(0.25, 0.98).
Conclusions: In older men, high volume of steps or MVPA rather than MVPA bouts was associated with reduced CVD risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Early online date13 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Accelerometer
  • CHD
  • Heart failure
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Stroke


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