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Health behaviors, body composition, and coronary heart disease risk in women with multiple sclerosis 1

      Abstract

      Slawta JN, Wilcox AR, McCubbin JA, Nalle DJ, Fox SD, Anderson G. Health behaviors, body composition, and coronary heart disease risk in women with multiple sclerosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2003;84:1823–30.

      Objectives

      To explore coronary heart disease risk in a sample of women with multiple sclerosis (MS) by identifying the presence of established risk factors for coronary heart disease and to determine the relationship between disease severity and level of participation in health-related behaviors.

      Design

      Survey study.

      Setting

      Five general community settings in Oregon.

      Participants

      Women with physician-diagnosed MS (N=123) recruited from MS chapters, physician referrals, and newspaper announcements.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main outcome measures

      Modified Yale Physical Activity Survey, Block Food Frequency Questionnaire, blood analysis, skinfolds, and waist and hip circumferences.

      Results

      The majority of women met current physical activity guidelines. The frequencies of unfavorable levels of metabolic variables and obesity were similar to those reported in the general population. Significant associations were observed between mobility and physical activity, total and abdominal fat, and several dietary habits.

      Conclusion

      Coronary heart disease risk in this sample was comparable to that of the general population of women without MS. Physical inactivity, body composition, and perhaps nutritional habits decline with decreasing mobility, emphasizing the need for families and health care providers to work together to find solutions that increase health-promoting behaviors in women with more advanced MS.

      Keywords

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