Peter M. Magyari and James R. Churilla of Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., said people with at least three out of five risk factors -- large waist circumference, more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women; high triglyceride levels; reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol; elevated blood pressure and high glucose levels are considered to have metabolic syndrome.
Magyari and Churilla analyzed data from the 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing, nationally representative study of health risk factors.
In the survey, respondents were asked whether they lifted weights; the responses were analyzed for association with the presence of metabolic syndrome.
The study, published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found after adjustment for demographic factors, lifting weights was associated with a 37 percent reduction in the odds of metabolic syndrome.
Of the 5,618 U.S. adults who had fasting blood samples for analysis, 8.8 percent said they lifted weights. Lifting weights was about twice as common in men than women: 11.2 versus 6.3 percent, the study found.