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Metabolism. 1989 Dec;38(12):1201-9.

Effects of body composition and exercise capacity on glucose tolerance, insulin, and lipoprotein lipids in healthy older men: a cross-sectional and longitudinal intervention study.

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Department of Medicine Geriatrics, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.


The relationships of age, body composition, and physical conditioning status to glucose tolerance, insulin, and lipoprotein levels were examined in 77 healthy, nonsmoking white male volunteers, aged 46 to 73 years with no evidence of coronary artery or endocrine-metabolic disease. The men had a wide range of body fat (13% to 39%), indexed as waist-to-hip ratio (WHR, 0.84 to 1.08), and maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max, 17 to 48 mL/kg.min). Multiple regression analysis with age, VO2max, WHR, and percent body fat as independent variables demonstrated that fasting plasma insulin, triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels were independently related to both percent body fat and WHR. In contrast, fasting plasma glucose levels and insulin responses during oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) correlated independently with percent body fat, and glucose responses to OGTT correlated only with WHR. Although fasting plasma TG and HDL-C correlated with glucose and insulin levels, in multiple regression analyses only percent body fat and WHR were the significant independent variables. Fasting total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol values were not related to these variables. To test the effects of weight loss and exercise training on these relationships, 20 obese men of comparable age, percent body fat, WHR, and VO2max were randomly assigned to weight loss or aerobic exercise training programs. A 12% +/- 3% loss in body weight (P less than .01, mean +/- SD) resulted in a 19% +/- 9% decline in body fat (P less than .01) with no change in fat free mass, WHR, or VO2max.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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