Fitness, fatness, and estimated coronary heart disease risk: The HERITAGE Family Study

P. T. Katzmarzyk, J. Gagnon, A. S. Leon, J. S. Skinner, J. H. Wilmore, D. C. Rao, C. Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the contributions of fatness and fitness to the estimated risk of future coronary heart disease (CHD). Methods: The sample consisted of 212 black and 411 white adult sedentary participants. Percent body fat (%BF) was measured using densitometry, whereas maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was measured on a cycle ergometer. Risk of future CHD was estimated using the revised Framingham Heart Study algorithm. Results: For fatness, the odds ratios for risk of future CHD were 1.83 and 1.70 for the moderate and high tertiles, respectively, compared with the low tertile. Similarly, the odds ratios for VO2max were 1.29 (NS) and 1.62, for the moderate and low tertiles, respectively. Removing VO2max from the full model had no effect; however, removing %BF resulted in a significantly weaker model (X2 = 10.38, P < 0.01). Conclusion: Both fatness and fitness are important predictors of risk of future CHD, based on the Framingham index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-590
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Adipose tissue
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Prediction
  • Risk factors


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