Steven N Blair comments on comparing US deaths from low fitness and ‘Smokadiabesity’

Steven N Blair Guest Blog

When comparing US deaths from low fitness and ‘Smokadiabesity’, remember that attributable fractions are based on the prevalence of the risk factor as well as the relative risk.  In the Aerobics Centre Longitudinal Study (1) the smoking prevalence is substantially lower than in the U.S. (I think probably less than half the U.S. rate).

I do not know how much difference this would make, but I doubt that ‘low fitness’ – cardiorespiratory fitness would account for more deaths than smokadiabesity in national data.

I recommend we currently limit conclusions from the ACLS (1) to that setting and I recommend against extrapolating to the national population.


(1) Blair SN. 2009. Physical inactivity: the biggest public health problem of the 21st century. BJSM, 43: 1-2.

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Steven N. Blair is a Professor in the Departments of Exercise Science  Epidemiology/Biostatistics at the University of South Carolina

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