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Ann Intern Med. 2004 Jun 15;140(12):1007-14.

Effects of aerobic physical exercise on inflammation and atherosclerosis in men: the DNASCO Study: a six-year randomized, controlled trial.

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1
Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, University of Kuopio, and Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland. rainer.rauramaa@uku.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although regular physical activity is recommended for prevention of cardiovascular diseases, no data are available on its antiatherosclerotic effects in the general population.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether progressive aerobic exercise compared with usual activity slows progression of atherosclerosis in men.

DESIGN:

A 6-year randomized, controlled trial.

SETTING:

Eastern Finland.

PARTICIPANTS:

140 middle-aged men randomly selected from the population registry.

INTERVENTION:

Low- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.

MEASUREMENTS:

Atherosclerosis was quantitated ultrasonographically as the mean intima-media thickness in the carotid artery at baseline and at years 2 through 6.

RESULTS:

On the basis of intention-to-treat analyses, a 19.5% net increase (P < 0.001) in ventilatory aerobic threshold was evident in the exercise group after 6 years. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels were statistically nonsignificantly lower in the exercise group than in the control group (P > 0.2). The progression of intima-media thickness in the carotid artery did not differ between the study groups (P > 0.2). A subgroup analysis that excluded men taking statins showed that the 6-year progression of intima-media thickness, adjusted for smoking and annual measures of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, systolic blood pressure, and waist circumference, was 40% less in the exercise group (0.12 mm [95% CI, -0.010 to 0.26 mm]) than in the control group (0.20 mm [CI, 0.05 to 0.35 mm]).

LIMITATIONS:

Only middle-aged white men were included. The intervention included mainly aerobic exercises.

CONCLUSIONS:

Aerobic physical exercise did not attenuate progression of atherosclerosis, except in a subgroup of men not taking statins.

PMID:
15197018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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