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African Americans, exercise, heart diseases, metabolic diseases, physical fitness, women



  1. Joseph, Rodney P. PhD
  2. Ainsworth, Barbara E. PhD, MPH
  3. Vega-Lopez, Sonia PhD
  4. Adams, Marc A. PhD, MPH
  5. Todd, Michael PhD
  6. Gaesser, Glenn A. PhD
  7. Keller, Colleen PhD


Background: Low moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels and obesity are associated with increased cardiometabolic disease risk.


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe MVPA and cardiometabolic risk characteristics of insufficiently active African American women with obesity (N = 60) enrolled in a culturally tailored MVPA intervention.


Methods: We assessed accelerometer-measured and self-reported MVPA, blood pressure, serum lipid profiles, cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 peak), and aortic pulse wave velocity.


Results: Participants (mean age, 38.4; mean body mass index, 40.6 kg/m2) averaged 15 min/d of accelerometer-measured MVPA and 30 min/wk of self-reported MVPA. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were elevated (135.4 and 84.0 mm Hg, respectively). With the exception of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (121.4 mg/dL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (47.6 mg/dL), lipid profiles were within reference ranges. Compared with normative reference values, average VO2 peak was low (18.7 mL/kg/min), and pulse wave velocity was high (7.4 m/s).


Conclusions: Our sample of insufficiently active African American women with obesity was at an elevated risk for cardiometabolic disease.