A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has determined that cardiorespiratory fitness may delay blood cholesterol levels that commonly occur with aging. Cardio-respiratory fitness is associated with again improved physical health, impacts on cholesterol level and is associated with cardiovascular events, stroke while improving heart and lung function.
“Age-related changes in cholesterol levels are usually unfavorable,” said Xuemei Sui, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., assistant professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina and an author of the study. “Our study sought to determine how cardiorespiratory fitness might modify the aging trajectory for lipid and lipoproteins in healthy men.”
The data used was based on the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study based on 11,418 research participants, to assess levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using a treadmill test and the participants were differentiated into low, middle and high fitness categories, and cholesterol and triglycerides were analyzed after an overnight fast.
It was determined that total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides all increased up to a certain age and then decreased while the good cholesterol decreased with age. Men with lower cardiorespiratory fitness had a higher risk of developing high cholesterol in their early 30s while men with high fitness did not see this development until their mid-40s. Additionally, men with low cardiorespiratory fitness reached abnormal HDL and non-HDL cholesterol levels around their early 20s and mid-30s, respectively, while those with higher fitness saw normal amounts for the entire lifespan.
“These findings suggest that improving cardiorespiratory fitness levels may delay the onset of dyslipidemia,” said Yong-Moon Mark Park, M.D., the lead author of the study. “Promoting this healthy lifestyle factor may also help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.”
“The prevalence of physical inactivity in the United States continues to rise, especially in younger age groups,” said Paolo Boffetta, M.D., professor of medicine at the Institute of Translation Epidemiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, . “It is important to now direct efforts towards translating these findings to clinical and preventative practice. Greater emphasis needs to be made on educating the public on the importance of exercise and clinicians should help counsel patients on fitness regimens.”
Yong-Moon Mark Park, Xuemei Sui, Junxiu Liu, Haiming Zhou, Peter F. Kokkinos, Carl J. Lavie, James W. Hardin, Steven N. Blair. The Effect of Cardiorespiratory Fitness on Age-Related Lipids and Lipoproteins. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2015; 65 (19): 2091 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.03.517
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