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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1998 Feb;46(2):134-42.

Coronary heart disease risk factors of vigorously active sexagenarians and septuagenarians.

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1
Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the dose-response relationship between coronary heart disease risk factors and vigorous exercise in older men.

DESIGN:

Physician-supplied medical data were compared with running distance and performance in a national cross-sectional survey of 175 septuagenarian, 935 sexagenarians, and 8672 younger male runners.

RESULTS:

Older runners ran significantly more slowly than younger runners. Nevertheless, men 60 years of age and older who ran further had significantly higher plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentrations (regression slope +/- SE: 0.16 +/- 0.02 mg/dL per km/week, P < .001), and significantly lower ratios of total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol (-0.009 +/- 0.002 per km/week, P < .001), plasma triglyceride concentrations (-0.309 +/- 0.107 mg/dL per km/week, P < or = .004), systolic and diastolic blood pressures (-0.066 +/- 0.028, and -0.042 +/- 0.016 mm Hg per km/week, respectively, P < or = .02), body mass indices (-0.039 +/- 0.004 kg/m2 per km/week, P < .001), and waist circumferences (-0.107 +/- 0.010 cm per km/week, P < .001). Better 10-kilometer race performance times were also associated (P < or = .001) with higher HDL-cholesterol levels and lower adiposity, blood pressure, triglycerides, and ratios of total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol levels. Septuagenarians who ran faster and further also had significantly (P < or = .03) higher HDL-cholesterol, lower ratios of total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol, and slimmer waists. Compared with those less than age sixty, older runners had significantly greater calculated reductions in waist (P = .039) and chest circumferences (P = .009) but significantly less reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P = .020) per kilometer run per week.

CONCLUSIONS:

Age does not limit the potential for vigorous activity to increase HDL-cholesterol or to reduce blood pressure, adiposity, or triglycerides, but it may attenuate improvements in LDL-cholesterol. Sexagenarians and septuagenarians are expected to have reduced heart disease risk in proportion to their vigorous activity.

PMID:
9475439
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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