FEB 19, 2017 6:14 PM PST

Shuttle run test predicts long-term heart health for kids

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

A heart health test for young people can be done easily in school during gym or recreation time, and experts believe that the results from this test could help predict which children are most at risk for heart problems later in life. Knowing ahead of time means more time for intervention.

The '20-meter test' is currently used in most schools in Spain. Source: UGRdivulga

Measuring aerobic capacity can pinpoint the children and young adults who are most at risk for developing cardiovascular disease or experiencing myocardial infarction later in life. A new study led by experts from the University of Granada measured aerobic capacity with a physical exam called the “shuttle run test.”

Myocardial infarction, a technical term for a heart attack, happens when one part of the heart muscle is cut off from its supply of oxygen-rich blood, often due to plaque buildup in arteries that limits the amount of blood flowing through. Heart attacks kill millions of men and women every year, and new findings from the “Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study” show that nearly half of all heart attack symptoms go unnoticed.

Scientists from the University of Granada examined the shuttle run test results of over nine thousand children between the ages of 8 and 19. The test consists simply of running up to 20 meters with increasing speed.

Recommended fitness levels are a maximum oxygen consumption of 42 mL/kg/min for males and 35 for females. Anything below these levels, said study coordinator Jonatan Ruiz, “should raise a red flag which keeps us alert.” His study results found, for both males and females, a wide range of risk for developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

"Although this proficiency test is widely used in schools and provides us with valuable health information, physicians and health professionals who assess the risk of present or future cardiovascular diseases for those ages are yet to adopt these rules,” Ruiz said.

The study was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Sources: University of Granada, PubMed Health, Harvard Health Publications

About the Author
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 13, 2022
Microbiology
H5N1 Sickens More Species, May Now be in the US Permanently
SEP 13, 2022
H5N1 Sickens More Species, May Now be in the US Permanently
H5N1 was first detected in 1996 in poultry in China's Guangdong province. Since then it has led to several outbreaks tha ...
SEP 14, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Monkeypox Could Soon be Monitored in Waste Water: Here's How
SEP 14, 2022
Monkeypox Could Soon be Monitored in Waste Water: Here's How
Wastewater epidemiology is a field of study in which the water from sewer systems is surveyed to generate data about the ...
SEP 10, 2022
Health & Medicine
What You See Isn't What You Get - The Science of Perception
SEP 10, 2022
What You See Isn't What You Get - The Science of Perception
People are different, with different backgrounds, different experiences, and different lives. So, it may come as no surp ...
SEP 15, 2022
Health & Medicine
Pandemic Impacts on Physical Exercise
SEP 15, 2022
Pandemic Impacts on Physical Exercise
A recent study found that people who were more physically active during the first few months of the pandemic struggled s ...
OCT 02, 2022
Immunology
A Network Linking Aging, Inflammation, and Diet
OCT 02, 2022
A Network Linking Aging, Inflammation, and Diet
Our immune system is crucial to our health. It has to respond to pathogens and tissue damage quickly by initiating infla ...
SEP 30, 2022
Technology
Microbots Created with Algae Cells Deliver Antibiotics Directly to the Lungs
SEP 30, 2022
Microbots Created with Algae Cells Deliver Antibiotics Directly to the Lungs
Pneumonia is a common lung affliction. While a range of things can cause pneumonia, one of the most common include bacte ...
Loading Comments...