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Identification and validation of integrative biomarkers of physical activity level and health in children and adolescents

HDHL-INTIMIC: Standardised measurement, monitoring and/or biomarkers to study food intake, physical activity and health (STAMIFY 2021)
Identification and validation of integrative biomarkers of physical activity level and health in children and adolescents
Catalina Pico
Foundation Health Research Institute of the Balearic Islands


Partner Organization Partner Country
Fundación Investigación Hospital General de ValenciaSpain
Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences, PragueCzech Republic
University of Aix-MarseilleFrance
The Wageningen UniversityThe Netherlands

1. Overall project description

1.1 Summary

Physical activity (PA) provides health benefits across the lifespan and improves many established cardiovascular risk factors that have a significant impact on overall mortality. Childhood and adolescence are critical periods for life-time health; processes underlying cardiovascular diseases and obesity generally originate in early ages. However, it is not clear how PA links to different parameters of health. There is an important need to cover this critical gap and, more specifically, to have biomarkers allowing to relate the degree of PA with effects on health.

INTEGRActiv addresses this new scientific and societal challenge by focusing on the identification of integrated markers reflecting both aspects - PA level and health - in children and adolescents, which represent an important target population to address personalized interventions to improve future, life long, metabolic health. Identification of new biomarkers will be achieved by combining measures of PA and cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness with anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors and endocrine markers, cytokines, circulating miRNA, and gene expression profile in blood cells and metabolomics profile in plasma and blood cells. Following identification in a core cohort and data integration analysis, candidate biomarkers will be further assessed in core cohort subjects after educational intervention and in existing samples from other independent studies.

INTEGRActiv encompasses relevant progress beyond the state-of-the-art for a) the definition of potential biomarkers for PA level in childhood and adolescence; b) the provision of relevant mechanistic information for the link between PA and metabolic health in youth subjects; c) the identification of factors such as age, gender, body weight, sleep behavior and puberal status that quantitatively affect biomarker responses; d) the use and development of new tools in biomarker research, including integrative analysis; e) further assessment and first-step validation of promising candidate biomarkers in an intervention study and other independent studies.

It is expected that new identified robust biomarkers reflecting PA level and its relation with health will guide nutritional/life-style and clinical advice and public policies related to endorse biomarker- based personalised PA, with a better adherence and response, to promote health and prevent disease risk factors since early stages of life.

1.2 Highlights

4. Impact

4.1 List of publications

AuthorsTitleYear, Issue, PPPartners NumberDoiPdf

4.2 Presentation of the project

Target groupAuthorsMeans of communicationHyperlinkPdf

4.3 List of submitted patents and other outputs

Patent licencePartners involvedYearInternational eu or national patentCommentPdf

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s
H2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement n.696300

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