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  1. Heubel, Alessandro Domingues MSc
  2. Marques, Terezinha Sasaki MSc
  3. Pessoa-Santos, Bruna Varanda PhD
  4. Gimenes, Camila PhD
  5. Arca, Eduardo Aguilar PhD
  6. Martinelli, Bruno PhD
  7. Barrile, Silvia Regina PhD


Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a prevalent condition in the elderly and it is associated with a high risk of systemic atherosclerosis. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is used to identify atherosclerotic obstructions in lower limbs, which might be associated with a decreased functional capacity due to blood flow limitation.


Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether older adults with MetS present alterations in ABI values and whether these alterations are associated with impairments in functional performance.


Design: Cross-sectional clinical study with a convenience sample.


Methods: Older adults (>60 years) of both genders were divided into two groups: Control group (CG, n = 34)-patients without MetS, and MetS group (MetSG, n = 32)-patients with MetS. Both groups were subjected to the following evaluations: (1) ABI (Doppler method) and (2) 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Intergroup comparison was performed using the t test and the Mann-Whitney U test. The association between the ABI and the distance walked in the 6MWT was calculated by the Pearson correlation test. In all analyses, P < .05 was considered as significant.


Results: When compared with CG, the MetSG group showed lower ABI (P = .007) and lower distance walked in 6MWT (P = .000). In the MetSG, a positive correlation was observed (r = 0.460; P = .008) between ABI values and the distance walked in 6MWT.


Conclusion: Older adults with MetS present lower ABI, a measure considered a predictor for peripheral arterial obstructive processes. This result is associated with a poor functional performance, which can be due to a circulatory deficit in the lower limbs.