Abstract 1302: Impact of Different Socio-Economic Status and Regular Physical Activity on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in School Children
Background: Obesity and physical inactivity are important cardiovascular risk factors for adults as well as for adolescents. Socio-economic status has a significant impact on physical activity, cardiovascular risk factors and the development of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this prospective, randomized study was to improve physical fitness by means of additional school exercise lessons at two high schools with different socioeconomic background and to examine its impact on cardiovascular risk factors, body composition and motor skills.
Methods and Results: 121 students from a high school with high socio-economic status (HS) (age: 11.3±0.05 years; 47% female) and 58 students from a high school with low socio-economic status (LS) (age: 11.6±0.07 years, 60% female) were randomized each into an intervention group (IG) with daily school exercise lessons and a control group (CG) with regular school sports twice a week. At baseline, body mass index (absolute BMI-percentile, BMI-P) and fat free mass (FFM) differed significantly in children from LS as compared to children from HS (BMI-P: 60.3 ±3.8 versus 48.1 ±2.7; p=0.02; FFM: 75.5 ±1.2 versus 78.6 ±0.9, p=0.04). Furthermore, cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)) and motor skills were higher in HS than in LS (VO2max: 43 ±0.8 versus 40.1 ±0.9 ml/min/kg, p=0.02; Motor Quotient: 113 ±1.2 versus 105 ±1.9, p=0.0007). After one year of additional exercise at school there was no significant change in BMI-P, BMI-SDS, but a significant increase of FFM in children of IG in LS (plus 2,6%; p=0,04 versus begin). In addition VO2max increased significantly in LS (plus 5.7 ml/min/kg; p<0,005 versus begin) after intervention, but did not reach HS levels. With respect to blood pressure and heart rate at rest there was no significant change in all groups after one year.
Conclusion: Additional exercise at school has a significant positive effect on body composition and exercise capacity, especially in children with a low socio-economic background.