The aim of this study was to evaluate if physical activity in police officers was associated with the mean number of metabolic syndrome (MS) components. In 1999, 115 officers from Buffalo, NY were randomly selected to participate in a cross-sectional study. Complete data were available for 102 officers (41 women, 61 men). MS components included elevated waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated glucose or treatment for diabetes, and elevated blood pressure or treatment for hypertension. Data on duration, intensity, and type (work, sport, home) of physical activity for the past seven days were collected. A physical activity score was calculated by multiplying the intensity score (1 ¼ low, 2 ¼ hard, 3 ¼ very hard) by duration. Comparisons of the mean number of MS components across physical activity score tertile (Low ¼ 0-3; Medium ¼ 3.1-11.9; High ¼ 12þ) were performed using analysis of covariance. In unadjusted models, as physical activity increased, the mean number of MS components decreased (1.49, 1.24, and 0.88 respectively; p for trend ¼ 0.057). Adjustment for age, education, smoking, and alcohol attenuated this trend slightly (1.47, 1.07, 1.02; p for trend ¼ 0.163), with level of education principally responsible for this attenuation. These trends were similar in men and women. In sum, physical activity was inversely associated with the number of MS components; this association was partially explained by education. Although this study was limited by sample size and its cross sectional design, further examination of this association in a large prospective study would be of interest.
American Journal of Epidemiology; 41st Annual Meeting Society for Epidemiologic Research Chicago, Illinois, June 24-27, 2008