BACKGROUND: Understanding the risk factors of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is important to public health, since individuals with MetS have an increased risk of health problems. This study examined the associations of exercise, sedentary time and insomnia with incident MetS among older adults 1 year later.
METHOD: A total of 1,359 older adults receiving hospital health examinations in 2012 were studied, and 779 subjects had a follow-up after 1 year. The components of MetS (waist, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose and triglyceride) were defined by the Program's Adult Treatment Panel III report. Exercise, sedentary time and insomnia data were obtained through self-report questionnaires. Physical fitness (body fatness, balance and hand grip strength) was measured. Two logistic regressions were computed to examine the associations of exercise/physical fitness, sedentary time and insomnia at baseline with incident MetS 1 year later. The first regression included age, sex, smoking and alcohol as covariates. The second regression was further adjusted with the components of MetS.
RESULTS: Sex, exercise/balance, sedentary time and insomnia were significant predictors of MetS. The risk of MetS incidence was 3.36 (95% CI 1.96-5.77) for women, 1.92 (95% CI 1.01-3.63) for those who did not exercise, 2.52 (95% CI 1.37-4.63) for those who sat more than 5 h/day, and 2.17 (95% CI 1.13-4.15) for those with insomnia. Poor balance was significantly associated with greater risk of MetS (AOR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.12). Sex, sedentary time, insomnia and balance remained significant after adjusting with the components of MetS.
CONCLUSIONS: Cultivating exercise habits, reducing sedentary time and improving sleep quality may be important strategies for MetS prevention among older adults.