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Ujka, Kristian, Rosa Maria Bruno, Luca Bastiani, Eva Bernardi, Paolo Sdringola, Nenad Dikic, Bikash Basyal, Sanjeeb Sundarshan Bhandari, Buddha Basnyat, Annalisa Cogo, and Lorenza Pratali. Relationship between occupational physical activity and subclinical vascular damage in moderate-altitude dwellers. High Alt Med Biol 00:000-000, 2017.- Background: Occupational physical activity (OPA) has been associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) events. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between OPA and markers of subclinical vascular damage among a moderate-altitude population living in the rural village of Chaurikharka (Nepal; 2600 m sea level).Seventy-two individuals (age 42 ± 15 years, ranges 15-85 years, 23 men) were enrolled. Physical activity (PA) was evaluated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), carotid ultrasound assessment, and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were performed.OPA was 9860 ± 5385 Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET)-minutes/week, representing 77% of total energy expenditure, with 97% of the population performing high-intensity PA. In the univariate analysis, OPA was significantly associated with PWV (β = 0.474, p = 0.001) and carotid stiffness (CS) (β = 0.29, p = 0.019). In the multivariate analysis, including age, sex, oxygen saturation, mean blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and OPA, OPA remained an independent predictor of PWV (β = 0.403, p = 0.001) but not of CS (β = 0.028, p = 0.8). OPA remained an independent predictor of PWV independently from the Framingham risk score (FRS).High-intensity OPA shows a positive, independent association with aortic stiffness in Himalayan moderate-altitude dwellers. This study suggests how vigorous OPA performed in moderate altitude may be a CV risk factor.

Original publication




Journal article


High altitude medicine & biology

Publication Date



1 Institute of Clinical Physiology-CNR , Pisa, Italy .