The low physical activity (LPA) more or less affects every community. Because of high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in Iran and their relationship with LPA, this study aimed to measure precisely the epidemic size of LPA and determine its relationship with six other coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors among an urban population aged 15 to 75 years in Kerman, Iran.
Using household survey, 5895 adults were randomly recruited through single-stage cluster sampling from 250 postal codes. Demographic characteristics, blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, smoking, opium use, mental status and physical activities at work, rest and recreation were assessed and ranked as low, moderate and intense. Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) was reported as a measure of the relationship between LPA and other CAD risk factors.
The prevalence of low, moderate, and intense physical activity were 42.1% (40.3-43.9), 45.0% (43.6-47.4) and 12.4% (11.1-13.9), respectively. LPA showed a sudden rise from 36.8% to 45.4% after the age of 25 years. On average, women had less physical activity than men (45.1% vs. 39.2%, P= 0.01). Participants with low physical activity compared to those without physical activity had significantly higher chance of anxiety [odds ratio 1.39; confidence interval (95% CI) 1.08-1.79; P = 0.01], hypertension (1.59; 1.08-2.35; P = 0.02), hyper-cholesterolemia (1.37; 1.06-1.76; P = 0.02), cigarette smoking (1.52; 1.07-2.11; P = 0.01), opium addiction (1.47; 1.07-2.02; P = 0.02) and overweight/obesity (1.34; 1.05-1.71; P = 0.02).
LPA was very common in the studied population and almost half of the adults were at risk for CAD because of insufficient level of physical activity. Such risky life-style pattern makes the emerging of CAD epidemic unavoidable, if effective interventions not being in place timely to this community.