According to a new study, cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome among smokers. Darla Kendzor, PhD, explains the researchers “wanted to evaluate the effects of fitness on cardiometabolic risk factors specifically among smokers. Study findings indicate that there is an inverse relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiometabolic risk among adult smokers.”

For the study, the examination included 1,249 adult smokers who were enrolled in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS) between 1979 and 2011.

The results of the study reveal that the risk for metabolic syndrome was reduced for smokers who were either highly or moderately fit. A Science Daily news report notes that smokers with the highest level of fitness reduced their risk for metabolic syndrome by 48% compared to those in the low fitness category, while the moderate fitness group had 27% reduced risk for metabolic syndrome in comparison to those who had low fitness levels.

Additionally, participants in the moderate and high fitness categories reduced their risk for the development of elevated fasting blood glucose. Individuals in the highest fitness category also reduced their risk of developing abnormal levels of HDL cholesterol.

Kendzor states, “While study findings emphasize that fitness plays a protective role against cardiovascular disease even among smokers, the research emphasizes the importance of quitting smoking to decrease the overall risk of morbidity or mortality.”

Source: Science Daily