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Obes Res. 2002 Oct;10(10):1030-7.

Physical activity and the metabolic syndrome in a tri-ethnic sample of women.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8034, USA.



To determine the association of moderate-intensity physical activity (PA), vigorous-intensity PA, and maximal treadmill duration with the metabolic syndrome among African-American (n = 49), Native-American (n = 46), and white (n = 51) women (ages, 40 to 83 years), enrolled in the Cross-Cultural Activity Participation Study.


The metabolic syndrome was defined as three or more of the following risk factors: waist circumference >88 cm, blood pressure > or =130/85 mm Hg, fasting glucose > or =110 mg/dL, hypertriglyceridemia (> or =150 mg/dL), and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol <50 mg/dL. PA was determined from detailed PA records that included all PA performed during two consecutive 4-day periods. Maximal treadmill duration was determined from a graded exercise test. Women were categorized into quartiles of moderate-intensity PA, vigorous-intensity PA, and maximal treadmill duration. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios of the metabolic syndrome as a function of the four PA categories, adjusted for age, ethnicity, study site, menopausal status, and use of hormone-replacement therapy.


The adjusted odds ratio for the metabolic syndrome was 0.18 (95% confidence interval, 0.33 to 0.90) for women in the highest category of moderate-intensity PA compared with women in the lowest category (p = 0.01 for trend). Similar associations were observed for the metabolic syndrome with vigorous-intensity PA (p = 0.01 for trend) and maximal treadmill duration (p = 0.0004 for trend).


Higher levels of moderate and vigorous-intensity PA and greater maximal treadmill duration were inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome among an ethnically diverse sample of women.

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