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Preschool children's physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk: a systematic review
journal contributionposted on 2019-05-01, 00:00 authored by Lisa Bell, Elly A Fletcher, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Peter VuillerminPeter Vuillermin, Kylie HeskethKylie Hesketh
OBJECTIVES: Higher physical activity (PA) levels in adults are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk, however it is unclear whether this association is evident in children younger than five years. Given that cardiovascular disease has early life origins, this study systematically reviews evidence of associations between PA and cardiovascular disease risk factors among children aged 3-5.5years. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHOD: A systematic search of multiple data bases was conducted to identify published papers reporting associations between any measure of PA and cardiovascular disease risk factors. INCLUSION CRITERIA: English language; peer-reviewed; original quantitative research; mean age or majority of sample to be between 3.0-5.5years. Studies where the sample was characterised by a health condition (e.g. obese, hypertensive) were not eligible for inclusion. RESULTS: Twelve papers met the inclusion criteria. At least one study for each cardiovascular disease risk factor except inflammation was included. PA was not associated with insulin resistance, and inconsistently associated with the remaining cardiovascular disease risk factors. Studies were mostly cross-sectional and methodologically heterogeneous. Longitudinal and experimental study designs and objective measurement of PA may help provide a clearer indication of the interplay between PA and cardiovascular disease risk in the preschool population.