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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Association of physical activity with blood pressure and blood glucose among Malaysian adults: a population-based study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Chien Huey Teh, Ying Ying Chan, Kuang Hock Lim, Chee Cheong Kee, Kuang Kuay Lim, Pei Sien Yeo, Omar Azahadi, Yusoff Fadhli, Aris Tahir, Han Lim Lee, Wasi Ahmad Nazni
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

TCH as the first author, collected data and supervised data collection at the field, analyzed and interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. CYY and LKH helped in literature review, prepared the Results and Discussion sections of the article and critically reviewed the manuscript. LKK collected data, supervised data collection at the field and revised the manuscript critically. KCC and YPS helped in data analysis and interpretation and helped to draft the manuscript. AO and FY designed the study and helped in data analysis. LHL and NWA reviewed and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. TA gave substantial contribution to the conception and design of the study, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors had given the final approval to publish the submitted manuscript in its present form.



The health-enhancing benefits of physical activity (PA) on hypertension and diabetes have been well documented for decades. This study aimed to determine the association of PA with systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as blood glucose in the Malaysian adult population.


Data were extracted from the 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), a nationally representative, cross-sectional study. A two-stage stratified sampling method was used to select a representative sample of 18,231 Malaysian adults aged 18 years and above. The PA levels of the respondents were categorised as low, moderate or high according to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)-short form. Blood pressure and fasting blood glucose levels were measured using a digital blood pressure-measuring device and finger-prick test, respectively.


Systolic blood pressure (SBP) level was positively associated with PA level (p = 0.02) whilst no significant association was noted between PA level and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). In contrast, respondents with low (adjusted coefficient = 0.17) or moderate (adjusted coefficient = 0.03) level of PA had significantly higher blood glucose level as compared to those who were highly active (p = 0.04).


A significant negative association was observed between PA level and blood glucose only. Future studies should employ an objective measurement in estimating PA level in order to elucidate the actual relationship between PA, hypertension and diabetes for the development of effective interventions to combat the increasing burden of premature-mortality and cardiovascular disease-related morbidity in Malaysia.
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