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Cardiorespiratory fitness as a predictor of short‐term and lifetime estimated cardiovascular disease risk

Swainson, Michelle G.; Ingle, Lee; Carroll, Sean


Michelle G. Swainson


Development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a public health concern for young-to-middle-aged adults, now exacerbated by the increasing prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) improves the reclassification of short-term (10-year) CVD risk, but has not been uniformly defined across studies. This study evaluated cross-sectional differences in short-term and lifetime CVD risk scores, across both absolute metabolic equivalent (MET), sex- and age-standardised CRF categories in 805 healthy apparently healthy young-to-middle aged adults (68% male; 47.4 ± 7.2 years). CVD risk factors were evaluated, and estimated cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) measurements (METS and peak VO2) were derived from a submaximal Bruce treadmill test. CRF measures also included post-exercise heart rate recovery (HRR) data. Consistent trends showing more favorable risk factor profiles and lower short-term CVD (QRISK2), and CVD mortality (SCORE) scores, associated with higher levels of CRF were evident in both sexes. Lifetime CVD risk (Q-Lifetime) was highest in the lowest CRF categories. Peak VO2 and HRR following submaximal exercise testing contributed to the variability in short-term and lifetime CVD risk. Global CVD risk predictions were examined across different contemporary CRF classifications with inconsistent findings. Recommended absolute MET and sex- and age-standardised CRF categories were significantly associated with both short-term and lifetime risk of CVD outcomes. However, compared to internationally-derived normative CRF standards, cohort-specific CRF categories resulted in markedly different proportion of individuals classified in the “poor” CRF category at higher CVD risk.


Swainson, M. G., Ingle, L., & Carroll, S. (2019). Cardiorespiratory fitness as a predictor of short‐term and lifetime estimated cardiovascular disease risk. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 29(9), 1402-1413.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 10, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 6, 2019
Publication Date 2019-09
Deposit Date May 10, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 7, 2020
Journal Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Print ISSN 0905-7188
Electronic ISSN 1600-0838
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 9
Pages 1402-1413
Keywords Aerobic capacity; Heart rate recovery; Peak VO2
Public URL
Publisher URL


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