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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Feb;63(2):222-32. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13205. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its association with physical capacity, disability, and self-rated health in Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study participants.

Collaborators (148)

Pahor M, Guralnik JM, Leeuwenburgh C, Caudle C, Crump L, Holmes L, Lee J, Lu CJ, Miller ME, Espeland MA, Ambrosius WT, Applegate W, Beavers DP, Byington RP, Cook D, Furberg CD, Harvin LN, Henkin L, Hepler J, Hsu FC, Lovato L, Roberson W, Rushing J, Rushing S, Stowe CL, Walkup MP, Hire D, Rejeski WJ, Katula JA, Brubaker PH, Mihalko SL, Jennings JM, Hadley EC, Romashkan S, Bonds DE, Patel KV, McDermott MM, Spring B, Hauser J, Kerwin D, Domanchuk K, Graff R, Rego A, Church TS, Blair SN, Myers VH, Monce R, Britt NE, Harris MN, McGucken AP, Rodarte R, Millet HK, Tudor-Locke C, Butitta BP, Donatto SG, Cocreham SH, King AC, Castro CM, Haskell WL, Stafford RS, Pruitt LA, Berra K, Yank V, Fielding RA, Nelson ME, Folta SC, Phillips EM, Liu CK, McDavitt EC, Reid KF, Kim WS, Beard VE, Manini TM, Pahor M, Anton SD, Nayfield S, Buford TW, Marsiske M, Sandesara BD, Knaggs JD, Lorow MS, Marena WC, Korytov I, Morris HL, Fitch M, Singletary FF, Causer J, Radcliff KA, Newman AB, Studenski SA, Goodpaster BH, Glynn NW, Lopez O, Nadkarni NK, Williams K, Newman MA, Grove G, Bonk JT, Rush J, Kost P, Ives DG, Kritchevsky SB, Marsh AP, Brinkley TE, Demons JS, Sink KM, Kennedy K, Shertzer-Skinner R, Wrights A, Fries R, Barr D, Gill TM, Axtell RS, Kashaf SS, de Rekeneire N, McGloin JM, Wu KC, Shepard DM, Fennelly B, Iannone LP, Mautner R, Barnett TS, Halpin SN, Brennan MJ, Bugaj JA, Zenoni MA, Mignosa BM, Williamson J, Sink KM, Hendrie HC, Rapp SR, Verghese J, Woolard N, Espeland M, Jennings J, Pepine CJ, Ariet M, Handberg E, Deluca D, Hill J, Szady A, Chupp GL, Flynn GM, Gill TM, Hankinson JL, Fragoso CA, Groessl EJ, Kaplan RM.

Author information

Department of Health Policy Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Michigan; Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Michigan; Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.



To evaluate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its association with physical capacity, disability, and self-rated health in older adults at high risk of mobility disability, including those with and without diabetes mellitus.


Cross-sectional analysis.


Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study.


Community-dwelling sedentary adults aged 70 to 89 at high risk of mobility disability (Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score ≤9; mean 7.4 ± 1.6) (N = 1,535).


Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the 2009 multiagency harmonized criteria; outcomes were physical capacity (400-m walk time, grip strength, SPPB score), disability (composite 19-item score), and self-rated health (5-point scale ranging from excellent to poor).


The prevalence of MetS was 49.8% in the overall sample (83.2% of those with diabetes mellitus, 38.1% of those without). MetS was associated with stronger grip strength (mean difference (Δ) = 1.2 kg, P = .01) in the overall sample and in participants without diabetes mellitus and with poorer self-rated health (Δ = 0.1 kg, P < .001) in the overall sample only. No significant differences were found in 400-m walk time, SPPB score, or disability score between participants with and without MetS, in the overall sample or diabetes mellitus subgroups.


Metabolic dysfunction is highly prevalent in older adults at risk of mobility disability, yet consistent associations were not observed between MetS and walking speed, lower extremity function, or self-reported disability after adjusting for known and potential confounders. Longitudinal studies are needed to investigate whether MetS accelerates declines in functional status in high-risk older adults and to inform clinical and public health interventions aimed at preventing or delaying disability in this group.


Short Physical Performance Battery; grip strength; metabolic syndrome; mobility disability; self-rated health

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