Brief Report: Physical Activity, Body Mass Index and Arterial Stiffness in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Preliminary Findings

Kevin S Heffernan, Luis Columna, Natalie Russo, Beth A. Myers, Christine Elaine Ashby, Michael L. Norris, Tiago Barreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Nov 8 2017

Keywords

  • Accelerometry
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular
  • Children
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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