Purpose Fit individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS) have lower mortality risk compared with less fit counterparts, despite the presence of obesity as a component of the syndrome. To understand the importance of fitness in treating this condition, we examined the association of fitness and fatness with central hemodynamic indices that are known independent predictors of cardiovascular events.
Methods Sixty-eight individuals with MetS participated in this cross-sectional study. Central hemodynamics is calculated from radial applanation tonometry and comprised aortic reservoir pressure, backward pressure wave (Pb), reflection magnitude (RM), and augmentation index at 75 bpm (AIx75). Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and body fat percentage (BF%) were determined via indirect calorimetry during maximal exercise testing and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, respectively.
Results CRF was inversely associated with aortic reservoir pressure (r = -0.29, P = 0.02), Pb (r = -0.42, P < 0.001), RM (r = -0.48, P < 0.001), and AIx75 (r = -0.65, P < 0.001). BF% was also correlated with AIx75 (r = 0.37, P < 0.05) and RM (r = 0.36, P < 0.005) but at a weaker association compared with CRF. Multiple regression analysis revealed CRF as a predictor of aortic reservoir pressure (β = -0.52, P = <0.01), Pb (β = -0.41, P < 0.03), and AIx75 (β = -0.45, P = 0.01), independent of BF% and other confounding factors.
Conclusions CRF predicts central hemodynamics independent of BF% and other confounding factors. This suggests that CRF improvement may be a higher priority when compared with fat loss for lowering the risk of cardiovascular mortality in MetS individuals.
- aortic reservoir function
- arterial stiffness
- arterioventricular coupling