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Physical Fitness and Body Composition in Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

1
Department of Education, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
2
Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
3
Systemic Autoimmune Diseases Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, “Virgen de las Nieves” University Hospital, 18014 Granada, Spain
4
SPORT Research Group (CTS-1024), CERNEP Research Center, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55020057
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract

Background and objectives: Higher physical fitness is associated with a more favorable weight and body composition in the general population, although this association has not been studied in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of the present study was to examine the association of different components of physical fitness with body composition in women with SLE with mild disease activity. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 77 women with SLE (43.2 ± 13.8 years old) and clinical stability during the previous 6 months. Body composition (including body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio and waist-to-hip ratio) was assessed using a stadiometer, an anthropometric tape, and a bioimpedance device. Physical fitness included cardiorespiratory fitness (Siconolfi step test and 6 min walk test), muscular strength (handgrip strength test as upper body measure and 30 s chair stand as lower body measure), and flexibility (back-scratch test). Participants with a fitness level equal or above the median of the study sample were categorized as “fit” and those below the median were categorized as “unfit”. Linear regression assessed the association of physical fitness with body composition parameters. Results: Cardiorespiratory fitness and upper body muscular strength were negatively associated with BMI, FMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-height ratio (all, p < 0.05). Lower body muscular strength and flexibility were negatively related to FMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, and waist-to-hip ratio (all, p < 0.05). These relationships were still significant after controlling for age, disease duration, accrual damage, and SLE activity. Overall, fit patients presented significantly lower values in all body composition parameters compared to unfit patients (all, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The main findings of the present study suggest that physical fitness is inversely associated with body composition in women with SLE. Given the cross-sectional nature of this study, future clinical trials should study the causal pathways underlying these relationships. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical fitness; flexibility; muscular strength; cardiorespiratory fitness; body composition; systemic lupus erythematosus; obesity physical fitness; flexibility; muscular strength; cardiorespiratory fitness; body composition; systemic lupus erythematosus; obesity
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Sola-Rodríguez, S.; Gavilán-Carrera, B.; Vargas-Hitos, J.A.; Sabio, J.M.; Morillas-de-Laguno, P.; Soriano-Maldonado, A. Physical Fitness and Body Composition in Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Medicina 2019, 55, 57.

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