Practice Matters

Metabolic Syndrome, Exercise, and Cardiovascular Fitness in Breast Cancer Survivors

M. Tish Knobf, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, and Sangchoon Jeon, PhD

From Yale University School of Nursing, Orange, Connecticut

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: M. Tish Knobf, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, 400 West Campus Drive, Orange, CT 06477. E-mail: tish.knobf@yale.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(1):98–102 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.1.6 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Comorbid illness contributes to poorer cancer outcomes and higher mortality. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) includes a cluster of risk factors that are associated with an increased risk of comorbidities. Routine physical activity represents a risk reduction strategy for cancer survivors. From 148 participants in a 12-month randomized control trial (RCT) of a fitness center exercise intervention compared to home physical activity group, a subset analysis was conducted to explore the effect of exercise on MetS risk factors. There were 32 (21.6%) breast cancer survivors who met the criteria for MetS at baseline. Over the 12 months, there were significantly fewer participants who met the criteria for MetS (p < .01), and there was significant improvement in individual risk factors, specifically fasting blood sugar (p = .01), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL; p = .02). Cardiovascular fitness was evaluated and greater heart recovery rate (HRR) was negatively associated with waist circumference, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and MetS risk (p < .02) and positively associated with HDL (p = .03). Oncology advanced practitioners are uniquely qualified to integrate risk reduction into the management of at-risk oncology patients.




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