Korean J Sports Med.  2014 Dec;32(2):97-104. 10.5763/kjsm.2014.32.2.97.

Relationship between Physical Activity Level, Amount of Alcohol Consumption and Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Male Drinkers

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical College, Seoul, Korea. byungskim@naver.com


Studies on the effect of drinking and exercise on metabolic syndrome (MetS) are lacking despite the high prevalence of the disease and the high drinking rate among Korean men. This study sought to elucidate the association of MetS with alcohol consumption and physical activity. Data on male drinkers aged 19 to 65 years were obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2007 to 2009. Participants were divided into mild to moderate and heavy drinkers according to daily alcohol consumption. By the intensity of physical activity expressed as metabolic equivalents (METs), participants were categorized into inactive, moderate active, and health enhancing groups. Logistic regression models were used for analyses. Prevalence of MetS was significantly higher in heavy drinkers compared to mild to moderate drinkers. In heavy drinkers, low high density lipoprotein (HDL) was significantly less frequent while the remaining four components were more frequent. Compared to inactive group, health promoting group showed a 35% decrease in MetS after adjusting for confounding factors. Higher physical activity level was associated with less low HDL and high triglyceride (TG) in mild to moderate drinkers and smaller waist in heavy drinkers. In Korean men, higher level of physical activity was associated with less low HDL and high TG, and physical activity achieving more than 3,000 MET.min/wk decreased the risk for MetS. Higher physical activity level was also associated with less large waist circumference in heavy drinkers, while there was no significant association with development of MetS.


Alcohol; Physical activity; Metabolic syndrome
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