Exercise improves metabolic syndrome in older women

March 27, 2009

A high-intensity strength and endurance exercise program has an impact on a variety of parameters of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in older women. General-purpose exercise programs primarily designed to reduce bone fracture risk also are effective in reducing coronary heart disease risk factors.

A high-intensity strength and endurance exercise program has an impact on a variety of parameters of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in older women. General-purpose exercise programs primarily designed to reduce bone fracture risk also are effective in reducing coronary heart disease risk factors.

Kemmler and coworkers assigned 65 women with the MetS to an exercise group (EG) or a wellness control group (CG). Height, weight, waist and hip circumferences, and total and regional body composition were measured. Blood pressure was determined. Blood samples were analyzed.

Hip circumference decreased significantly in the EG. Triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels changed favorably in the EG and deteriorated slightly in the CG. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly and resting fasting plasma glucose levels increased slightly in both groups. In the EG, the number of criteria of the MetS decreased significantly. The prevalence of MetS decreased by 30.3% in the EG compared with 15.6% in the CG. Total body fat and trunk fat decreased significantly in the EG but did not change in the CG. Total cholesterol levels improved significantly in the EG and were stable in the CG.

The authors noted that even the moderate intervention of the wellness group substantially benefited blood pressure.