Theses Doctoral

Exploring Sedentary Behavior as a Secondary Prevention Target for Heart Disease

Duran, Andrea Tiana

The purpose of this dissertation series was to describe sedentary behavior and its associations with cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarkers and outcomes, and to explore the potential that reducing sedentary behavior may be a secondary prevention target for Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) survivors. As such, the following series of research studies evaluate the mechanisms, patterns, and correlates of sedentary behavior in relation to CVD risk and examine whether sedentary behavior might be a risk factor for CVD outcomes among ACS survivors. In Chapter II, a cross-sectional study of young, healthy adults examined a set of biomarkers representing several aspects of endothelial cell health to elucidate the relationship between free-living, habitual sedentary time and endothelial dysfunction. Results showed that there were no differences in measures of endothelial cell injury, endothelial cell reparative capacity, or upper extremity endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in participants with high compared with low volumes of device-measured sedentary behavior in a sample of young, healthy adults. These findings suggest that physiological mechanisms other than endothelial dysfunction may need to be explored as a potential link between habitual prolonged sedentary time and CVD in young adults. Chapter III employed group-based trajectory modeling to identify distinct patterns of sedentary behavior, as measured by accelerometry, in ACS survivors over the 28 consecutive days following hospital discharge, and, secondly, to explore potential correlates of these patterns. Results demonstrated that ACS patients as a group engaged in high volumes of accelerometer-measured sedentary time. Three patterns of sedentary behavior over the first month post-discharge were identified; these involved either gradual or rapid reductions in sedentary behavior. Several measures of disease severity and physical health (e.g., GRACE CVD risk score, physical health-related quality of life), and partner status (i.e., married or partnered or without partner), were associated with the worst patterns of sedentary behavior (i.e., high volume of sedentary time with only a slight decline over time). These findings provide insight on the different patterns of sedentary behavior that emerge as patients resume their daily life over the first month post hospital discharge. Chapter IV, building upon the study presented in Chapter III, examined whether accelerometer-measured sedentary behavior of ACS survivors over the first month post hospital discharge was associated with 1-year health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to understand whether sedentary behavior in the early post hospital discharge period may be an important risk factor in ACS survivors, that might be targeted in secondary prevention strategies. Results demonstrated that the average sedentary behavior over the first month post hospital discharge was not significantly associated with increased risk of 1-year recurrent major adverse cardiovascular events or hospitalizations. These findings do not support sedentary behavior in the early post hospital discharge period as a prognostic risk factor that should be modified in ACS survivors as part of secondary heart disease prevention strategy. However, studies with larger sample sizes, and that evaluate sedentary behavior patterns beyond the first month are needed. Collectively, these studies show that high volumes of sedentary behavior are prevalent in ACS survivors over the first month immediately following hospital discharge. Future work is needed to further study the underlying mechanisms through which sedentary behavior may confer CVD risk and to determine whether sedentary behavior is an important modifiable risk factor in ACS survivors.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Garber, Carol Ewing
Diaz, Keith
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 25, 2019