IDEFICS paper published in International Journal of Cardiology

A pioneering study using IDEFICS data has been published in the International Journal of Cardiology (IJC).

It is the first study examining the effect of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on the incidence of high blood pressure in children. Over 5,221 children from eight European countries were involved (Germany, Hungary, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Estonia, Sweden and Belgium), aged between 2 and 9 for the initial study and 5061 children were re-examined 2 years later.

The results from this study corroborate previous studies which have evaluated the association of physical activity on blood pressure levels. Several mechanisms can explain the positive effect physical activity has on blood pressure; for example, strong evidence suggests that the sheer stress caused by regular physical activity has a powerful effect.

The study was led by Augusto Cesar F. de Moraes, a scientist in Epidemiology with YCARE (Youth/Child and Cardiovascular Risk and Environmental) Research Group at the School of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and GENUD (Growth, Exercise and Nutrition and Development) Research Group and Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

He says, “Chronic non-communicable diseases are the main source of disease burden worldwide and are thus a major public health problem. Among non-communicable diseases, hypertension has been shown to have the highest prevalence in adults; studies have shown that blood pressure levels in childhood and adolescence greatly impact the development of hypertension in adults.  It is therefore important for long-term health to set good behaviour habits early, for example by encouraging children and young people to take regular exercise.”

The EC-funded I.Family Study is continuing to monitor the children first enrolled in IDEFICS as they move into adolescence, identifying the key barriers against and motivators towards healthy food and lifestyle choices in European families.

Read the paper in the IJC – or

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