Cardiorespiratory fitness and metabolic risk

Am J Cardiol. 2012 Apr 1;109(7):988-93. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.11.031. Epub 2012 Jan 3.


The present study sought to evaluate the relation between cardiovascular risk factors and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in a large population. Low CRF has been associated with increased total mortality and cardiovascular mortality. The mechanisms underlying greater cardiovascular mortality have not yet been determined. A series of cardiovascular risk factors were measured in 59,820 men and 22,192 women who had undergone determinations of CRF with maximal exercise testing. The risk factor profiles were segregated into 5 quintiles of CRF. With decreasing CRF, increases occurred in obesity, triglycerides, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein ratios, blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. Self-reported physical activity declined with decreasing levels of CRF. In conclusion, it appears likely that the enrichment of cardiovascular risk factors, especially metabolic risk factors, account for a portion of the increased cardiovascular mortality in low-fitness subjects. The mechanisms responsible for this enrichment in subjects with a low CRF represent a challenge for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides