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Does childhood physical fitness have a role in preventing adult heart disease?

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Does childhood physical fitness have a role in preventing adult heart disease?

Dr Brooklyn Fraser, University of Tasmania

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2023-2024

Evidence suggests strategies aimed at preventing poor heart health should begin in childhood and target fitness. However, before such strategies can be introduced, the long-term heart health benefits of child fitness need to be established and ways to maximise child fitness levels identified.

My research aims to: 1) Quantify the contribution of fitness measured in childhood, young adulthood, and mid-adulthood to heart health in midlife; 2) Establish fitness cut-points that identify children at high-risk of poor heart health and determine how child fitness improves the ability to predict poor heart health over more commonly used risk factors; 3) Identify the optimal combination of different movement behaviours to maximise child fitness levels.

This project will provide new insight into how child fitness can prevent poor heart health in adulthood. By using the heart health-related child fitness cut-points I establish, children most at risk of poor long-term heart health can be identified earlier in life and assisted with reducing future risk.

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