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Atherosclerosis. 2006 Jan;184(1):207-15.

Aerobic exercise and HDL2-C: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Meta-Analytic Research Group, Department of Community Medicine, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 9190, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190, USA.



Use the meta-analytic approach to examine the effects of aerobic exercise on high-density lipoprotein two cholesterol (HDL2-C) in adults. STUDY SOURCES: (1) Computerized literature searches; (2) cross-referencing from retrieved articles; (3) hand-searching; and (4) expert review of our reference list.


(1) Randomized controlled trials; (2) aerobic exercise > or = 8 weeks; (3) adults > or = 18 years of age; (4) studies published in journal, dissertation, or master's thesis format; (5) studies published in the English-language between January 1, 1955 and January 1, 2003; and (6) assessment of HDL2-C in the fasting state.


All coding conducted by both authors, independent of each other. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus.


Nineteen randomized controlled trials representing 20 HDL2-C outcomes from 984 males and females (516 exercise, 468 control) were pooled for analysis. Using random-effects modeling and bootstrap confidence intervals (BCI), a statistically significant increase of approximately 11% was observed for HDL2-C (X +/- S.E.M., 2.6 +/- 0.9 mg/dl, 95% BCI, 1.0-4.4 mg/dl). With each study deleted from the model once, results remained statistically significant. Increases in HDL2-C were independent of decreases in body weight, body mass index (kg/m2), and percent body fat.


Aerobic exercise increases HDL2-C in adults.

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