Association between physical activity and inflammatory markers in community-dwelling, middle-aged adults

So Mi Jemma Cho, Hokyou Lee, Jee Seon Shim, Justin Y. Jeon, Hyeon Chang Kim

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Physical activity has been known to deter inflammatory process; yet, the evidence is scarce in healthy, middle-aged population. We assessed the association between physical activity and inflammatory biomarkers, including high sensitivity (hs) C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-1a,-1b, and-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a and-b, and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 and-3. Functional and leisure-time physical activity was assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Inflammatory biomarkers were measured by multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Compared with highly physically active participants based on total metabolic equivalent of task, the most sedentary group had significantly higher odds ratio and [95% confidence interval] for ≥75th percentile of TNF-a (1.64 [1.10–2.44]), TNF-b (1.50 [1.09–2.07]), IL-1b (2.14 [1.49–3.09]), hsIL-1b (1.72 [1.15–2.58]), IL-6 (1.84 [1.24–1.73]), hsIL-6 (2.05 [1.35–3.12]), and MCP-1 (1.91 [1.28–2.87]) levels. Results for IL-1a and MCP-3 were inconsistent, as the least active group had lower odds for above the median IL-1a (0.65 [0.49–0.95]) and MCP-3 (0.71 [0.54–0.93]) yet higher odds for ≥75th percentile IL-1a (2.36 [1.63–3.42]) and MCP-3 (2.44 [1.63–3.64]) levels. Based on duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, sedentary participants had significantly higher odds for above median (1.40 [1.13–1.73]) and ≥75th percentile (1.33 [1.00–1.77]) IL-1b compared with those fulfilling the guideline recommendation. Subgroup analyses showed minimal sex differences. Routine inflammatory assessment may help to achieve primordial prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Novelty: Healthy, middle-aged adults with physically active lifestyle were generally at lower odds for elevated inflammatory status. The associations persisted regardless of sex, age, comorbidities, adiposity, and diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-836
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All authors would like to acknowledge the researchers and participants of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Etiology Research Center (CMERC) cohort. This work was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant No. HI13C0715). Author contributions: S.M.J.C., J.Y.J., and H.C.K. conceived and designed the study. S.M.J.C. performed statistical analyses. S.M.J.C., H.L., J.Y.J., and H.C.K. interpreted the findings. S.M.J.C. drafted the manuscript. S.M.J.C., H.L., J.-S.S., J.Y.J., and H.C.K. made critical revision of the manuscript for key intellectual content. H.C.K. takes full responsibility for the content of the manuscript, including data and analysis. All authors approved the final manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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