Cardiorespiratory fitness as a feature of metabolic syndrome in older men and women: the Dose-Responses to Exercise Training study (DR's EXTRA)

Diabetes Care. 2008 Jun;31(6):1242-7. doi: 10.2337/dc07-2298. Epub 2008 Mar 10.


Objective: We studied the associations of cardiorespiratory fitness with metabolic syndrome in older men and women, because such data are limited in representative population samples.

Research design and methods: We studied a population sample of 671 men and 676 women aged 57-79 years at baseline of a randomized controlled intervention study. We assessed maximal oxygen uptake (Vo(2max)) by respiratory gas analysis during a maximal bicycle exercise test.

Results: Vo(2max) had a strong, inverse, and graded association with the risk of having metabolic syndrome as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria. Men and women in the lowest third of Vo(2max) had 10.2- and 10.8-fold higher risks and those in the middle third had 2.9- and 4.7-fold higher risks (P < 0.001 all) of metabolic syndrome than those with the highest Vo(2max) after multivariable adjustments. Factor analysis generated a principal factor that was strongly loaded by the main components of metabolic syndrome and Vo(2max) (-0.68 in men and -0.70 in women).

Conclusions: Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with metabolic syndrome in older men and women. Our findings suggest that low cardiorespiratory fitness could be considered a feature of metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides