Lean mass and fat mass as contributors to physical fitness in an overweight and obese African American population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine the association of lean vs fat mass with fitness in healthy, overweight and obese African Americans from families with early-onset coronary disease. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Baltimore, Maryland. Participants: 191 healthy, overweight, sedentary African Americans (69% women; aged 44.8 ± 11 years; body mass index 34 6 5 kg/m2). Main Outcome Measures: Anthropometrics, smoking, blood pressure, lipids, c-reactive protein, and glucose were assessed with standard methods; body composition was determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; cardiorespiratory fitness was expressed as VO2peak attained during a maximal treadmill test. Results: In both men and women, greater lean mass was independently associated with higher VO2peak (P<.05) and explained .21% of the variance in VO2peak, adjusted for body mass index, fat mass, important covariables, and nonindependence of families. Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study, lean mass was the key determinant of cardiorespiratory fitness, independent of sex, age, and magnitude of obesity. These data provide a strong rationale for examining whether interventions that increase lean mass may also improve fitness, even among high-risk overweight and obese African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume25
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Body composition
  • Obesity
  • Physical fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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