Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:





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DOI of Original Publication



Published in final edited form as: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Nov; 44(11): 2125–2131 doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182640c4e PMCID: PMC3475754 NIHMSID: NIHMS393868 Karen G. Chartier was at the University of Texas School of Public Health at the time of initial publication.

Date of Submission

June 2015



To prospectively examine the independent and joint effects of alcohol consumption and cardiorespiratory fitness on the incidence of metabolic syndrome in a cohort of men.


A prospective examination of 3,411 apparently healthy men at baseline, who came to the Cooper Clinic (Dallas, Texas) for at least 2 preventive visits (1979–2010). Primary exposure variables were cardiorespiratory fitness and alcohol intake; the outcome measure was metabolic syndrome (MetS) and the components thereof. Cox proportional hazard models were computed to assess the relationship between the exposure variables and the incidence of MetS while adjusting for confounders.


Over a mean follow-up period of 9 years (SD=7.8), 276 men developed MetS. In multivariable analysis, a dose-response relationship was observed between increased levels of fitness and reduced MetS risk (moderate fitness: HR=0.60, 95%CI 0.43–0.82; high fitness: HR=0.49, 95%CI 0.35–0.69). When examining the independent effects of alcohol, light drinking increased the risk for MetS by 66% (HR=1.66, 95%CI 1.11–2.48). No statistically significant interaction effect was observed between alcohol and fitness in relation to MetS (P = 0.32). When assessing the relation between each exposure and the components of MetS, higher fitness consistently reduced the risk of all components; whereas lower alcohol intake reduced the risk of elevated glucose and blood pressure and increased the risk for low HDL-c.


Among this cohort of men, higher fitness levels reduced the risk for MetS and its components. The relation between alcohol intake levels and metabolic risk was more complex and not reflected when examining MetS as a whole.


This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Nov;44(11):2125-31 available at This is the author's manuscript which was accepted for publication.

Is Part Of

VCU Social Work Publications