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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 618728, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Associations of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Fatness with Metabolic Syndrome in Rural Women with Prehypertension

1Division of Physical Therapy Education, School of Allied Health Professions, College of Medicine, 984420 Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4420, USA
2College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5330, USA
3College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Lincoln, NE 68588-0220, USA
4Panhandle Research and Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Scottsbluff, NE 69361, USA

Received 22 May 2012; Revised 25 October 2012; Accepted 25 October 2012

Academic Editor: Jack A. Yanovski

Copyright © 2012 Patricia A. Hageman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This study investigated the associations of fitness and fatness with metabolic syndrome in rural women, part of a recognized US health disparities group. Methods. Fitness, percentage body fat, BMI, and metabolic syndrome criteria were assessed at baseline in 289 rural women with prehypertension, ages 40–69, enrolled in a healthy eating and activity community-based clinical trial for reducing blood pressure. Results. Ninety (31%) women had metabolic syndrome, of which 70% were obese by BMI (≥30 kg/m2), 100% by percentage body fat (≥30%), and 100% by revised BMI standards (≥25 kg/m2) cited in current literature. Hierarchical logistic regression models, adjusted for age, income, and education, revealed that higher percentage body fat (P < 0.001) was associated with greater prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Alone, higher fitness lowered the odds of metabolic syndrome by 7% (P < 0.001), but it did not lower the odds significantly beyond the effects of body fat. When dichotomized into “fit” and “unfit” groups, women categorized as “fat” had lower odds of metabolic syndrome if they were “fit” by 75% and 59%, for percentage body fat and revised BMI, respectively. Conclusion. Among rural women with prehypertension, obesity and fitness were associated with metabolic syndrome. Obesity defined as ≥25 kg/m2 produced results more consistent with percentage body fat as compared to the ≥30 kg/m2 definition.