Elevated concentration of oxidized LDL together with poor cardiorespiratory and abdominal muscle fitness predicts metabolic syndrome in young men

Jussi Kosola, Jani P Vaara, Markku Ahotupa, Heikki Kyröläinen, Matti Santtila, Niku Oksala, Mustafa Atalay, Tommi Vasankari
Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 2013, 62 (7): 992-9

BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with increased oxidized LDL (ox-LDL), systemic inflammation, and poor cardiorespiratory fitness. We examined affiliations of these factors and the effect of muscular fitness on MetS in young healthy men.

METHODS: Physical fitness, ox-LDL, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and serum lipids were measured in a nationally representative sample of Finnish young men with and without MetS. Participants (mean age 25.1years) performed tests of maximal oxygen uptake (VO₂max) and muscle fitness, and were divided into MetS (n=54, IDF 2007 criteria) and non-MetS (n=790). Age, smoking and leisure-time physical activity were used as covariates (ANCOVA).

RESULTS: The MetS group had lower results in VO₂max and all of the muscular fitness tests (excluding grip strength) (P<0.0001, in all). Ox-LDL, ox-LDL/HDL-cholesterol, ox-LDL/LDL-cholesterol, TNFα and IL-6 were all higher in the MetS group than in the non-MetS group (P<0.01, in all). In stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis (adjusted to MetS criteria), higher ox-LDL (OR 1.118, 95% CI 1.078-1.160), lower VO₂max (OR 0.938, 95% CI 0.901-0.977) and lower sit-ups (OR 0.898, 95% CI 0.844-0.956) predicted MetS (p<0.05, in all).

CONCLUSIONS: Young men with MetS possess significantly poorer cardiorespiratory and muscle fitness, together with elevated systemic levels of ox-LDL, TNFα and IL-6 compared to non-MetS young men. Of these variables, ox-LDL, VO₂max and sit-ups predicted MetS. Based on these findings, poor physical fitness and elevated concentration of ox-LDL are significant predisposing factors in the development of MetS.

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