Association of time spent in physical activities and sedentary behaviors with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity: A systematic review and meta-analysis


      • Arterial stiffness is recognized as an independent marker of cardiovascular disease.
      • The role of physical activity levels in arterial stiffness has been controversial.
      • Twelve studies using gold standard methods were included.
      • Higher time spent in physical activity was associated with lower arterial stiffness.
      • Higher time spent in sedentary behavior was associated with higher arterial stiffness.


      Background and aims

      Increased arterial stiffness is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Studies have reported conflicting results regarding the relationship between arterial stiffness and time spent in sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA). The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the relationship between objectively measured light PA (LPA), moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA), and SB with the gold standard measurement of arterial stiffness, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV).


      PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for relevant studies published until November 2016. Studies reporting the correlation of objectively measured PA and SB with cfPWV in human adults >18 years old were included in this analysis. Correlation coefficients (CCs) were converted to Z scores via Fisher's z values for the analysis of summary effects, using a random-effects model.


      Twelve studies were included in the systematic review. The meta-analysis showed a negative correlation between cfPWV and LPA (CC -0.16; 95% CI: −0.29 to −0.03; p=0.02) and MVPA (CC -0.16; 95% CI: −0.26 to −0.06; p<0.01), and a positive relationship between cfPWV and SB (CC 0.23; 95% CI: 0.12 to 0.35; p<0.01).


      Time spent in light and moderate physical activities is associated with lower arterial stiffness, while time spent in SB is related to higher arterial stiffness. It suggests that PA at any intensity is favorable for arterial stiffness, whereas SB leads to increased arterial stiffness. Considering that cfPWV has an independent prognostic value, these associations may have important clinical implications.


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