Relationship of obesity and physical fitness to cardiopulmonary and metabolic function in healthy older men

D. A. Meyers, A. P. Goldberg, M. L. Bleecker, P. J. Coon, D. T. Drinkwater, E. R. Bleecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship of obesity and physical fitness (V̇O2max) to cardiopulmonary and metabolic function was examined in 132 healthy obese, nonsmoking men age 45-79. Obese men with higher V̇O2max had lower % body fat and waist-to hip ratio (WHR) than obese men with low V̇O2 max. The obese subjects with high WHR (upper body fat distribution) had higher systolic bloodpressure, hyperinsulinemia and impaired glucose tolerance, lower high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and higher triglyceride (TG). V̇O2max (ml/kg FFM·min) was lower in the older men (r = -0.54, p < .001), and 32% of the variation was accounted for by age and the one-second forced expiratory volume. Although pulmonary function was normal, 50% of the variability was predicted by age, height, and V̇O2max or WHR. Glucose tolerance and insulin correlated better with V̇O2max and indices of body composition than with age, while plasma TG and HDL-C correlated with body composition, not V̇O2max or age. Thus, while age affects the cardiopulmonary and metabolic function of obese older men, physical inactivity, obesity, and an abdominal body fat distribution (increased WHR) contributed significantly to their reductions in physiological function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M57-M65
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

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