Symptom-limited graded treadmill exercise testing in young adults in the CARDIA study

Stephen Sidney*, William L. Haskell, Richard Crow, Barbara Sternfeld, Albert Oberman, Mary Anne Armstrong, Gary R. Cutter, David R. Jacobs, Peter J. Savage, Linda Van Horn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Symptom- limited, graded exercise treadmill testing was performed by 4, 968 white and black adults, ages 18-30 yr, during the baseline examination for the CARDIA study. The mean estimated maximal exercise capacity by race/gender, expressed as metabolic units (METS), was: white men 13.8, black men 13.0, white women 11.1, and black women 9.4. Exercise test duration was higher in nonsmokers, positively related to physical activity score and pulmonary function (FEVl-hr2), and inversely related to body mass index. Men had higher mean values than women for both test duration and a measure of submaximal performance, the workload 130 (WL130, the exercise test duration to a heart rate of 130 beats min-1). Adjusted for age and education, white men had a longer mean test duration than black men (53 s longer, P<0.001), but nearly equal mean WL130. White women had higher mean values than black women for both test duration (114 s longer, P<0.001) and WL130 (36 s longer, P < 0.001). Men had higher mean values than women for both outcome measures (P<0.001). Thus, in young adults significant gender and ethnic differences exist for exercise test performance, part of which can be explained by personal habits or traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992


  • Fitness
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Pulmonary function
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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