Physical activity energy expenditure and fat-free mass: Relationship with metabolic syndrome in overweight or obese postmenopausal women.
Menopause transition is associated with detrimental changes in physical activity, body composition and metabolic profile. Although physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in individuals at higher risk of CVD, the association is unknown in low-risk individuals. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between PAEE and MetS (prevalence and severity) in inactive overweight or obese postmenopausal women with a low Framingham Risk Score (FRS:< 10%). Cross-sectional data of 126 participants were divided into quartiles based on PAEE (Q1= lowest PAEE) while fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) were measured by DXA. MetS prevalence was significantly different between Q1 and Q4 (37.9% vs 13.3%, p= 0.03). After controlling for potential confounders, MetS severity was negatively associated with PAEE (B= -0.057, p< 0.01) and positively with FFM (B= 0.038, p< 0.001). Moderation analyses indicated that a greater FFM exacerbated the association between PAEE and MetS severity in Q1 and Q2 (PAEE*FFM; B= -0.004; p= 0.1). Our results suggest that displaying a low FRS and lower PAEE increase MetS prevalence and severity. In addition, greater FFM interacts with lower PAEE to worsens MetS severity, while higher PAEE lessened this effect. Novelty – Inactive individuals displaying higher daily PAEE also have a lower MetS prevalence – Greater fat-free mass is associated with a worse MetS severity where a higher PAEE mitigates this deleterious effect in our cohort.