We examined the association between physical activity (PA), body mass index (BMI) and novel measures of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 15 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (mean age 7 ± 2 years, 2 girls). PA was objectively assessed using accelerometry as time spent in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Arterial stiffness was measured via aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) and taken as a marker of subclinical CVD risk. MVPA was inversely associated with aortic PWV (r = − 0.46, p < 0.05). BMI percentile was positively associated with aortic PWV (r = 0.61, p < 0.05). Overall findings suggest that reduced PA and higher body mass in children with ASD are associated with increased arterial stiffness which may have a detrimental impact on overall cardiovascular health.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Blood pressure
- Physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology