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Correlation Between Physical Exercise and Mortality Rate Among Metabolic Syndrome Patients

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions that transpire simultaneously, increasing an individual’s risk of death from cardiovascular issues, among others. Some researchers speculate that physical activity can reduce the mortality rate in people with metabolic syndrome. In this article, “Even low level of physical activity is associated with reduced mortality among people with metabolic syndrome, a population-based study (the HUNT 2 study, Norway),” Stensvold et al.1 sought to establish the relationship between exercise and mortality rate among people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The researchers successfully illustrated that physical activity significantly reduced the mortality rate among individuals with metabolic syndrome, with remarkable study strengths such as adequate sample size and a ten-year prospective study.

Stensvold et al.1 conducted a prospective study in Nord Trøndelag County in Norway from 1995 to 1997. They invited 92,205 adults above 20 years to participate in the large health survey involving a ten-year follow-up period. Next, the researchers excluded patients who had a myocardial infarction, stroke, or known angina pectoris. Among the invited participants, 50,339 subjects comprising 13,449 patients with metabolic syndrome accepted the invitation. The participants were subjected to various measurements such as height, weight, and blood pressure. Besides, the researchers obtained blood samples from all the participants for further laboratory experiments. The healthy participants filled questionnaires to record their smoking habits, marital status, occupation, alcohol consumption, physical activities, and education level. Data were analyzed using the Cox regression, which compared the mortality rate in metabolic syndrome patients with healthy people. The researchers found that the mortality rate in people with metabolic syndrome varied with age but not with gender. They also found that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 23% in participants aged below 65 years and 44% in subjects above 65 years. In addition, 1839 subjects with metabolic syndrome died during the ten-year study period. 23% and 43% of the deaths were caused by CVD in subjects aged below 65 and above 65 years, respectively. The researchers also established that people with high PA were less prone to death than inactive people. Lastly, they obtained that participants with low PA levels had minimal chances of metabolic syndrome deaths.

The study had several remarkable strengths. Firstly, the authors chose a sample size of 50,339 individuals. The sample was further split into two groups according to age. Results from such a sample are generalizable to the larger population because the sample is adequately large enough and representative. According to Rahman2, small samples cannot yield results generalizable to the larger population; instead, a sufficiently large sample is ideal for research. (2) Secondly, the researchers employed a retrospective study for ten years. A period of ten years was sufficient to do extensive follow-up, monitoring, and establish any change exhibited by the participants. Consequently, chances of making any false inferences due to a short study duration are minimized. According to Cherry3, adequately long research allows for change detection over time, providing distinctive insight. Some researchers may claim that a smaller sample size would yield the same results. While that may be true, larger sample sizes are known to provide more accurate, insightful, and generalizable results. Zamboni4 states that larger sample sizes yield more precise means and help identify outliers more easily. Also, some researchers may argue that a smaller duration would yield the same results as those in the study. While this may be true, doing a follow-up study for adequately long periods allows for detecting any changes that may exhibit. Tenny5 asserts that more extended studies help accrue enough incidences for analysis.

In conclusion, the researchers presented a methodologically acceptable study to conclude that physical exercise significantly reduced the mortality rate of individuals with metabolic syndrome. The large sample ensured that all the demographic variables in the study group and healthy controls were well represented, thus enhancing the generalization of findings. Besides, the ten-year follow-up was vital for a long-term investigation of the association between physical activities and the high mortality rates in patients with metabolic syndrome. Further research needs to be done to expel any doubts from other researchers with different views. Besides, individuals with metabolic syndrome should participate in daily physical activities to promote the quality of life and reduce the chances of death.


  1. Stensvold D, Nauman J, Nilsen TIL, Wisløff U, Slørdahl SA, Vatten L. Even a low level of physical activity is associated with reduced mortality among people with metabolic syndrome, a population-based study (the HUNT 2 study, Norway). BMC Med. 2011;9(1):109.
  2. Rahman MS. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Methods in Language” Testing and Assessment” Research: A Literature Review. Journal of Education and Learning. 2017;6(1):102-12. Available at:
  3. Cherry K. What is a longitudinal study? [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Oct 28]. Available from:
  4. Zamboni J. The advantages of large sample size [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2021 Oct 30]. Available from:
  5. Tenny S, Kerndt CC, Hoffman MR. Case-Control Studies. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021


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