ASSESSMENT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG PATIENTS WITH RISK FACTORS FOR METABOLIC SYNDROME IN A RURAL COMMUNITY

Date

2013-04-12

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Peebles, Rebecca

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Abstract

Purpose: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of medical conditions that synergistically increase the risk for development of cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes mellitus. The rapid and persistent rise in the prevalence of MetS has sparked much interest and debate among researchers regarding activity and inactivity physiology. Exercise as a prescription for prevention and management of this disease process has been suggested and explored. The purpose of this study was to address the relationship between physical activity levels and the presence of MetS risk factors within a rural community. Methods: Patients from a family medicine clinic in San Saba County, Texas were recruited, consented, and given a survey to complete. The survey assessed the amount of physical activity levels, presence of MetS risk factors and demographic information of each participant. Results: Frequencies of the five MetS risk factors were calculated revealing 7.7% of participants had none, 33.3% had one, and 20.5% had two. 38.5 % self-reported three or more risk factors which qualified them to have MetS. There was a medium, negative correlation, r = -0.33, n=31, between increase in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity at work and a decrease in the presence of MetS risk factors. However, the relationship was not statistically significant (p=0.067). No correlation was observed between exercise and the presence of MetS risk factors (r = 0.084, n = 17, p = 0.75) or time sitting and the presence of MetS risk factors (r = 0.094, n =28, p =0.063). A one-way, between group analysis of variance showed statistical significance between high school graduates and higher levels of education, but no statistically significant differences between other levels of education or any income groups. Conclusions: Based on the data collected for this project, there is no significant association between exercise and the presence of MetS risk factors. However, over the past two decades, exercise has been well documented to decrease the development of risk factors and slow or even prevent the progression to fulminant disease. The deviation of the results of this investigation from prior research is likely due to the limitations and confounding factors of this study. Further research is needed to make definitive remarks regarding the role of exercise in prevention and management of MetS.

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