WVU study reinforces CDC recommendations

Exercise vital to health of children and adolescents

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long recommended that children and adolescents take part in at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise most days. A study by two researchers in the West Virginia University School of Medicine reinforces that recommendation.

George A. Kelley, D.A., and Kristi S. Kelley, M.Ed., researchers in the Department of Community Medicine, examined the effects of aerobic exercise – such as running, cycling, and swimming – on non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) in children and adolescents. Non-HDL-C is calculated by subtracting the good cholesterol, known as high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, from total cholesterol. Elevated levels of non-HDL-C have been shown to be a strong predictor for developing and dying from heart disease.

For this study, the researchers pooled the results of 13 studies that included 404 teens and younger boys and girls. Aerobic exercise created no change in non-HDL-C, possibly the result of the low baseline levels reported in most studies. However, the researchers did find a decrease in body fat of 7 percent as well as an increase in aerobic capacity of 8 percent.

The researchers used a meta-analytic approach. In meta-analysis, the results of studies on a particular topic are consolidated in a systematic format to reach conclusions about a body of research.

“It was encouraging to see the results of these secondary outcomes because they reinforce the CDC recommendations for child and adolescent exercise,” said George Kelley. “The findings are especially important given the epidemic of overweight and obesity not only nationally, but especially in states like West Virginia where overweight and obesity are alarmingly high among children, adolescents and adults.”

The study, supported by a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, appeared in the summer issue of Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing, a peer-reviewed journal.


For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 9-03-08

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