Relationship between youth cardiometabolic health and physical activity in medical records

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Background Thers is limited research examining modifiable cardiometabolic risk factors with a single-item health behavior question obtained during a clinic visit. Such information could support clinicians in identifying patients at risk for adverse cardiometabolic health. We investigated if children meeting physical activity or screen time recommendations, collected during clinic visits, have better cardiometabolic health than children not meeting recommendations. We hypothesized that children meeting either recommendation would have fewer cardiometabolic risk factors. Methods and findings This cross-sectional study used data from electronic medical records (EMRs) between January 1, 2013 through December 30, 2017 from children (2–18 years) with a well child visits and data for ≥1 cardiometabolic risk factor (i.e., systolic and diastolic blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, alanine transaminase, high-density and low-density lipoprotein, total cholesterol, and/or triglycerides). Physical activity and screen time were patient/caregiver-reported. Analyses included EMRs from 63,676 well child visits by 30,698 unique patients (49.3% female; 41.7% Black, 31.5% Hispanic). Models that included data from all visits indicated children meeting physical activity recommendations had reduced risk for abnormal blood pressure (odds ratio [OR] = 0.91, 95%CI 0.86, 0.97; p = 0.002), glycated hemoglobin (OR = 0.83, 95%CI 0.75, 0.91; p = 0.00006), alanine transaminase (OR = 0.85, 95%CI 0.79, 0.92; p = 0.00001), high-density lipoprotein (OR = 0.88, 95%CI 0.82, 0.95; p = 0.0009), and triglyceride values (OR = 0.89, 95%CI 0.83, 0.96; p = 0.002). Meeting screen time recommendations was not associated with abnormal cardiometabolic risk factors. Conclusion Collecting information on reported adherence to meeting physical activity recommendations can provide clinicians with additional information to identify patients with a higher risk of adverse cardiometabolic health.



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