Author(s): Lee S, Kuk JL, Katzmarzyk PT, Blair SN, Church TS,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Moderate to high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) are associated with a lower risk of the metabolic syndrome and all-cause mortality. Unknown is whether CRF attenuates health risk for a given level of abdominal visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, and/or waist circumference. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The sample studied comprised 297 apparently healthy men with available computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans of the abdomen, metabolic data, and maximal treadmill exercise test results. Men were categorized into low-CRF (20\%, n = 56), moderate-CRF (40\%, n = 94), and high-CRF (40\%, n = 147) groups based on age and exercise test results. All analyses were adjusted for age. RESULTS: For a given level of waist circumference, visceral fat, or subcutaneous fat, the high-CRF group had lower triglyceride levels (P < 0.05) and higher HDL cholesterol levels than the low- or moderate-CRF groups. There was a significant group interaction (P < 0.01) for blood pressure, indicating that the increase in blood pressure per unit increase in visceral fat or waist circumference was greater in men in the low-CRF group compared with the high-CRF group. The relative risks of having the metabolic syndrome were 1.8 (95\% CI 1.0-3.1) and 1.6 (0.9-2.7) times higher in the low- and moderate-CRF groups, respectively, compared with the high-CRF group after adjusting for age, visceral fat, and subcutaneous fat (P for trend = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: High levels of CRF are associated with a substantial reduction in health risk for a given level of visceral and subcutaneous fat.
This article was published in Diabetes Care
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism