HealthDay News — Physical activity may decrease the risk of progression from metabolically benign overweight/obesity to at-risk overweight/obesity in perimenopausal women, according to research published online May 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Unab I. Khan, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues followed 866 women with metabolically benign overweight/obesity at baseline during a seven-year period to assess progression to at-risk overweight/obesity.

The researchers found that women who progressed to at-risk overweight/obesity, compared with those who remained metabolically benign overweight/obese, had a higher body mass index (BMI) at baseline and a greater prevalence of cardiometabolic abnormalities, including higher blood pressure, elevated levels of glucose and triglycerides, and low level of HDL.

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In multivariable analysis, increase in BMI was modestly associated with risk of progression. Baseline impaired fasting glucose was most strongly associated with risk of progression to at-risk overweight/obesity (hazard ratio [HR], 3.24; 95% CI, 2.10-4.92; P<0.001).

Physical activity was associated with decreased risk of progression to at-risk overweight/obesity (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.80-0.92; P<0.001).

“Increasing obesity and the presence of cardiometabolic abnormalities increase the risk of progression, whereas physical activity is the only lifestyle factor protective against progression from metabolically benign to the at-risk overweight/obese phenotype, a state that is unanimously associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Khan UI et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-3259.