Adolescent trajectories of aerobic fitness and adiposity as markers of cardiometabolic risk in adulthood

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether adolescent growth trajectories of aerobic fitness and adiposity were associated with mid-adulthood cardiometabolic risk (CMR). Methods: Participants were drawn from the Saskatchewan Growth and Development Study (1963-1973). Adolescent growth trajectories for maximal aerobic capacity (absolute VO2 (AbsVO2)), skinfolds (SF), representing total body (Sum6SF) and central adiposity (TrunkSF), and body mass index (BMI) were determined from 7 to 17 years of age. In mid-adulthood (40 to 50 years of age), 61 individuals (23 females) returned for follow-ups. A CMR score was calculated to group participants as displaying either high or a low CMR. Multilevel hierarchical models were constructed, comparing the adolescent growth trajectories of AbsVO2, Sum6SF, TrunkSF, and BMI between CMR groupings. Results: There were no significant differences in the adolescent development of AbsVO2, Sum6SF, TrunkSF, and BMI between adult CMR groupings (p > 0.05). Individuals with high CMR accrued 62% greater adjusted total body fat percentage from adolescence to adulthood (p=0.03). Conclusions: Growth trajectories of adolescent aerobic fitness and adiposity do not appear to be associated with mid-adulthood CMR. Individuals should be encouraged to participate in behaviours that promote healthy aerobic fitness and adiposity levels throughout life to reduce lifelong CMR.