Association of daily composition of physical activity and sedentary behaviour with incidence of cardiovascular disease in older adults

Manasa S. Yerramalla*, Duncan E. McGregor, Vincent T. van Hees, Aurore Fayosse, Aline Dugravot, Adam G. Tabak, Mathilde Chen, Sebastien F.M. Chastin, Séverine Sabia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is proposed as key for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) prevention. At older ages, the role of sedentary behaviour (SB) and light intensity physical activity (LIPA) remains unclear. Evidence so far is based on studies examining movement behaviours as independent entities ignoring their co-dependency. This study examines the association between daily composition of objectively-assessed movement behaviours (MVPA, LIPA, SB) and incident CVD in older adults.

METHODS: Whitehall II accelerometer sub-study participants free of CVD at baseline (N = 3319, 26.7% women, mean age = 68.9 years in 2012-2013) wore a wrist-accelerometer from which times in SB, LIPA, and MVPA during waking period were extracted over 7 days. Compositional Cox regression was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for incident CVD for daily compositions of movement behaviours characterized by 10 (20 or 30) minutes greater duration in one movement behaviour accompanied by decrease in another behaviour, while keeping the third behaviour constant, compared to reference composition. Analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic, lifestyle, cardiometabolic risk factors and multimorbidity index.

RESULTS: Of the 3319 participants, 299 had an incident CVD over a mean (SD) follow-up of 6.2 (1.3) years. Compared to daily movement behaviour composition with MVPA at recommended 21 min per day (150 min/week), composition with additional 10 min of MVPA and 10 min less SB was associated with smaller risk reduction - 8% (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.87-0.99) - than the 14% increase in risk associated with a composition of similarly reduced time in MVPA and more time in SB (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.02-1.27). For a given MVPA duration, the CVD risk did not differ as a function of LIPA and SB durations.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older adults, an increase in MVPA duration at the expense of time in either SB or LIPA was found associated with lower incidence of CVD. This study lends support to public health guidelines encouraging increase in MVPA or at least maintain MVPA at current duration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021


  • cardiovascular disease
  • compositional data analysis
  • light intensity physical activity
  • longitudinal cohort
  • moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
  • older adults
  • sedentary behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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