Changes in traditional chronic disease risk factors over time and their relationship with leisure-time physical activity in people living with spinal cord injury
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This study examined whether levels of chronic disease risk factors change over time, and whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) can explain any of the variation in those risk factors that change, in a sample of community-dwelling people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) in or near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. LTPA was measured using the Physical Activity Recall Assessment for People with SCI at baseline (n = 76 adults with chronic (≥1 year) paraplegia or tetraplegia), at 6 months (n = 71) and at 18 months (n = 63). Body mass index, waist circumference at the lowest rib (WC(lowest rib)) and iliac crest (WC(iliac crest)), fat mass, blood pressure, and biochemical data were collected at all 3 time points. Women's BMI was higher at baseline (least square means (LSM) = 26.2 ± SE = 1.56 kg·m(-2), p = 0.0004) and 6 months (25.9 ± 1.6, p = 0.0024) than at 18 months (22.1 ± 1.72). Men's WC(lowest rib) increased from baseline (92.1 ± 1.87 cm) to 18 months (93.6 ± 1.87, p = 0.0253). Women who were active vs. inactive at baseline had a lower BMI at 6 months (23.1 ± 2.91 vs. 29.7 ± 2.52, p = 0.0957) and WC(iliac crest) at 6 months (82.8 ± 6.59 vs. 97.7 ± 5.10, p = 0.0818). Women who were active vs. inactive at 6 months had a lower WC(iliac crest) at 18 months (73.4 ± 14.3 vs. 102.5 ± 6.41, p = 0.0723). There was little change in traditional risk factors over 18 months. Future studies should extend beyond 18 months in a larger sample, and explore traditional vs. novel risk factors and onset of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the SCI population.
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