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OBJECTIVE: Cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity may influence cardiovascular risk through their effects on inflammation. The long-term effects of these modifiable factors on adult inflammation remain uncertain. The associations of childhood and adulthood cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity with adult inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen] were examined. METHODS: 1,976 children examined in 1985 and re-examined as young adults in 2004-2006 were included. Cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity were assessed at both waves. CRP and fibrinogen were measured at follow-up. RESULTS: Higher childhood fitness was associated with lower adult inflammation in both sexes. After adjusting for childhood adiposity, the association with CRP attenuated in males, but remained in females (average reduction of CRP 18.1% (95% CI 11.3-24.4%) per 1-SD increase in childhood fitness). Higher adult fitness, adjusting for childhood fitness (an increase in fitness from childhood to adulthood), was associated with lower adult CRP in females and lower fibrinogen in males. Higher childhood and adulthood adiposity (an increase in adiposity from childhood to adulthood) were associated with higher adult inflammation in both sexes. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention programs to increase fitness and reduce adiposity in childhood, and maintain a favorable fitness and weight into adulthood, may lead to reduction in adult systemic inflammation.

Original publication




Journal article


Obesity (Silver Spring)

Publication Date





2598 - 2605


Adiposity, Adolescent, Adult, Biomarkers, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, C-Reactive Protein, Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena, Cardiovascular System, Child, Female, Fibrinogen, Health Status, Humans, Inflammation, Male, Obesity, Physical Fitness, Risk Factors, Young Adult