Objective: To determine the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome across age strata and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) levels in women.
Research methods and procedures: 7104 women underwent a physical examination, including a maximal treadmill exercise test. Participants were divided into CRF quintiles according to age. The metabolic syndrome was identified using Adult Treatment Panel-III Guidelines. Tests for trend were performed on demographic variables across CRF quintiles, as well as prevalence of the metabolic syndrome across CRF quintiles, age strata, and maximal workload achieved [maximal metabolic equivalent (MET) level].
Results: The overall prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 6.5%. Age- and smoking-adjusted prevalence was lower across quintiles of CRF (19.0%, 6.7%, 6.0%, 3.6%, and 2.3% for quintiles I to V, respectively, p for trend = 0.001). Smoking-adjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was higher across age strata (2.4%, 2.7%, 6.4%, 8.7%, 15.3%, and 16.1% for ages 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70 to 80, respectively, p for trend = 0.001). Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the different age groups for women who achieved a maximal MET level of 11 or higher was one-third to one-fourth that of women who achieved lower maximal MET levels.
Discussion: Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was markedly lower across progressively higher levels of CRF in women of different age strata. Because regular physical activity improves components of the metabolic syndrome, modest increases in CRF among low fit women may ameliorate the metabolic syndrome in some instances.
Copyright 2004 NAASO