Walking in old age and development of metabolic syndrome: the health, aging, and body composition study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: The specific health benefits of meeting physical activity guidelines are unclear in older adults. We examined the association between meeting, not meeting, or change in status of meeting physical activity guidelines through walking and the 5-year incidence of metabolic syndrome in older adults. METHODS: A total of 1,863 Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study participants aged 70-79 were followed for 5 years (1997-1998 to 2002-2003). Four walking groups were created based on self-report during years 1 and 6: Sustained low (Year 1, <150 min/week, and year 6, <150 min/week), decreased (year 1, >150 min/week, and year 6, <150 min/week), increased (year 1, <150 min/week, and year 6, >150 min/week), and sustained high (year 1, >150 min/week, and year 6, >150 min/week). Based on the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) panel guidelines, the metabolic syndrome criterion was having three of five factors: Large waist circumference, elevated blood pressure, triglycerides, blood glucose, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. RESULTS: Compared to the sustained low group, the sustained high group had a 39% reduction in odds of incident metabolic syndrome [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.61; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.40-0.93], and a significantly lower likelihood of developing the number of metabolic syndrome risk factors that the sustained low group developed over 5 years (beta = -0.16, P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Meeting or exceeding the physical activity guidelines via walking significantly reduced the odds of incident metabolic syndrome and onset of new metabolic syndrome components in older adults. This protective association was found only in individuals who sustained high levels of walking for physical activity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Peterson, MJ; Morey, MC; Giuliani, C; Pieper, CF; Evenson, KR; Mercer, V; Visser, M; Brach, JS; Kritchevsky, SB; Goodpaster, BH; Rubin, S; Satterfield, S; Simonsick, EM; Health ABC Study,

Published Date

  • August 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 317 - 322

PubMed ID

  • 20367219

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3072703

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-8518

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/met.2009.0090


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States