Cardiorespiratory fitness does not offset the links between adiposity and certain inflammatory biomarkers in older women who are physically active, according to study results published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The results emphasize the need for reducing abdominal adipose tissue in older adults, regardless of cardiorespiratory fitness.
The study included older community-dwelling women aged 65 to 70 years who were free from heart disease and diabetes (n = 114). Women were required to be engaged in 150 min/wk of moderate to vigorous physical activity to be eligible for inclusion. Researchers used a standardized submaximal test with a cycle ergometer to assess cardiorespiratory fitness. They categorized participants into high or low adiposity-related metabolic risk groups based on measures of body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and total fat mass. They also analyzed inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers including high sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, IL-18, adiponectin, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and macrophage inflammatory protein alpha.
The results indicated that participants in the high-risk metabolic group had significantly elevated C-reactive protein levels, lower adiponectin levels, and higher inflammatory scores compared with participants in the low-risk group, regardless of adiposity measures (P <.05).
Compared with participants in the low-risk group, participants in the high-risk group based on waist-to-hip ratio and total fat mass (but not body mass index) had significantly elevated levels of IL-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein alpha. When the high-risk group was defined by waist-to-hip ratio only, participants with high metabolic risk had significantly elevated levels of IL-18 compared with participants in the low-risk group.
The researchers noted that adjustments for high cardiorespiratory fitness level did not attenuate the link between adiposity measures and inflammation. Engagement in strength-related exercises also did not improve inflammatory outcomes in this population.
“Targeting excess abdominal adipose tissue in older adults should be emphasized in efforts aiming to mitigate age-related systemic inflammation regardless of cardiorespiratory fitness,” the researchers wrote.
Bergens O, Nilsson A, Kadi F. Cardiorespiratory fitness does not offset adiposity-related systemic inflammation in physically active older women [published online May 6, 2019]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi:10.1210/jc.2019-00067