Recreational exercise and cardiovascular status in the rural community of Tecumseh, michigan

Thorkell Gudbrandsson, Stevo Julius, Kenneth Jamerson, Shawna Smith, Lisa Krause, Nicholas Schork

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. Because of population stability, Tecumseh, a rural community in Michigan, was the site of health surveys over a period of three decades. Methods. In the recent survey anthropometrics, blood pressure (BP), blood chemistry, echo/Doppller cardiac exam, personality and exercise questionnaires were collected on site. Results. In this rural community 70% of subjects (447 men, 410 women, average age 30 years) do not engage in recreational exercise. Sedentary subjects were heavier (4 kg), had higher BP (2.3/2 mm Hg), faster heart rate (4 beats/min), and lower stroke volume (2 ml/m2) than physically more active subjects (p = 0.02 to 0.00001). Measures of cardiac structure and function were more favorable in exercising subjects. Cholesterol (+ 8 mg/dl), triglycerides (+ mg/dl) and insulin (+ 2.4 μU/ml) were higher and HDL cholesterol was lower (- 2 mg/dl) in the sedentary group (p = 0.04 to 0.003). Being sedentary was associated with more anxiety, anger and feeling time pressure (p = 0.001 to 0.00001). Exercise demands at work had no effect while even once a week recreational exercise was associated with a more favorable cardiovascular risk status. A difference in cardiovascular status between the sedentary and exercising subjects was not apparent throughout childhood, adolescence or early adult life, suggesting that subjects who exercise presently were not a priori healthier than presently sedentary subjects. Conclusions. Seventy percent of the residents studied in Tecumseh are physically inactive and have a less favorable cardiac risk profile. Enhancement of exercise habits may beneficially affect cardiovascular status and, presumably, the prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalBlood Pressure
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994


  • Behavioral factors
  • Cardiac function
  • Epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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