Application of the AHA/ACSM Adult Preparticipation Screening Checklist to a Nationally Representative Sample of US Adults Aged 40 and Older from NHANES 2001-2004
Background—Although the American Heart Association / American College of Sports Medicine's Preparticipation Questionnaire (AAPQ) is a recommended pre-exercise cardiovascular screening tool, it has never been systematically evaluated. The purpose of this research is to provide preliminary evidence of its effectiveness among adults aged 40 years or older.
Methods and Results—Under the assumption that respondents would respond to AAPQ items as they responded to NHANES questionnaire responses, we calculated the gender- and age-specific proportions of adult participants in NHANES, 2001-2004 who would be receive a recommendation for physician consultation based on AAPQ referral criteria. Additionally, we compared recommended AAPQ referrals to a similar assessment using the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) in the study sample. AAPQ referral proportions were higher with older age. Across all age groups 40 years and older, 95.5% (94.3-96.8%) of women and 93.5% (92.2-94.7%) of men in the US would be advised to consult a physician before exercise. Prescription medication use and age were the most commonly selected items. When referral based on AAPQ was compared to that of the PAR-Q, the two screening tools produced similar results for 72.4% of respondents.
Conclusions—These results suggest that more than 90% of US adults aged 40 years or older would receive a recommendation for physician consultation by the AAPQ. Excessive referral may present an unnecessary barrier to exercise adoption and stress the healthcare infrastructure.
- Received May 30, 2013.
- Revision received November 17, 2013.
- Accepted November 20, 2013.