Purpose: To examine the associations for muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among men.
Methods: Participants were 8570 men (20-75 yr) for whom an age-specific muscular strength score was computed by combining the body weight adjusted one-repetition maximum measures for the leg press and the bench press. Cardiorespiratory fitness was quantified by age-specific maximal treadmill exercise test time.
Results: Separate age and smoking adjusted logistic regression models revealed a graded inverse association for metabolic syndrome prevalence with muscular strength (beta = -0.37, P < 0.0001) and cardiorespiratory fitness (beta = -1.2, P < 0.0001). The association between strength and metabolic syndrome was attenuated (beta = -0.08, P < 0.01) when further adjusted for cardiorespiratory fitness. The association between cardiorespiratory fitness and metabolic syndrome was unchanged (beta = -1.2, P < 0.0001) after adjusting for strength. Muscular strength added to the protective effect of fitness among men with low (P trend = 0.0002) and moderate (P trend < 0.0001) fitness levels. Among normal weight (BMI < 25), overweight (BMI 25-30), and obese (BMI >or= 30) men, respectively, being strong and fit was associated with lower odds (73%, 69%, and 62% respectively, P < 0.0001) of having prevalent metabolic syndrome.
Conclusions: Muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness have independent and joint inverse associations with metabolic syndrome prevalence.