Objectives: We examined the independent and combined associations of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), body fat (BF) percentage (BF%), and body mass index (BMI) with submaximal systolic blood pressure (SSBP) among young adult women. Materials and Methods: Analyses included a sample of 211 normotensive women with a BMI between 20 and 35 kg/m2; BF% was calculated using total BF measured from dual X-ray absorptiometry, CRF was assessed using a graded exercise test, and SSBP was measured at each stage. Results: There was a significant direct association of SSBP with BF% and BMI, whereas an inverse association between SSBP and CRF when adjusted for the covariates. There was no significant association between SSBP and BF% across the stages 1-3 with a borderline significant association at stage 4 when further adjusted for CRF, whereas no association at any of the stages when adjusted for BMI. A borderline significant association between SSBP and BMI was found at stage 1 and significant association at stages 2-4 when additionally adjusted for CRF, whereas the association disappeared at stages 1-2 when adjusted for BF%. The inverse association between SSBP and CRF was eliminated at stages 3-4 when further adjusted for BF% with borderline significant association at stages 1-2. The associations remained significant at the stages 1-2 but not at stages 3-4 after adjusting for BMI. Conclusion: CRF, BF%, and BMI seem to have critical roles in determining SSBP with CRF and BF% being more potent at lower intensity exercise, whereas BMI was more strongly associated at higher intensity exercise.
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