Little data exists describing the impact that walking has on metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a multicultural sample of older adults.
Walking was measured via pedometer in 150 older adults from four different ethnic categories. Steps per day were classified as low (<3,100 steps/d) or high (≥3,100 steps/d) for statistical analyses.
Occurrence of MetS was lower in the white (33%) versus non-white population (50%). Low steps/d were related to an increase in MetS for both white (OR = 96.8, 95% CI 12.3-764.6) and non-white individuals (OR = 4.5, 95% CI 1.8-11.3). Low steps/d also increased the odds for selected components of MetS in both the white and non-white groups.
Low levels of walking increase the likelihood of having MetS in both white and non-white older adults. Efforts to increase walking in older adults may decrease the likelihood of developing this clustering of disease risk factors.
Strath is with the University of Wisconsin, 2400 E. Hartford Ave., Milwaukee, WI; Swartz is with the University of Wisconsin; Parker is with the University of Wisconsin; Miller is with the University of Wisconsin; and Cieslik is with the ■.