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Medicineworld.org: Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women

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Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women




A number of experimental studies have observed that physical exercise can improve cholesterol levels and subsequently decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease; however, few of these studies have included enough participant diversity to provide ethnic breakdowns. Now, a long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women provides race- and gender- specific data on the cholesterol effects of physical activity, with the interesting result that women, especially African-American women, experience greater benefits as a result of exercise than men.



Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women

The analysis of this large Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which appears in the recent issue of Journal of Lipid Research, was carried out by Keri Monda and his colleagues at North Carolina and Baylor. They observed that over a 12 year period, all individuals who increased their exercise by about 180 metabolic units per week (equivalent to an additional hour of mild or 30 minutes of moderate activity per week) displayed decreased levels of triglycerides and increased levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol. However, statistically significant decreases in the "bad" LDL cholesterol were only observed in women, with especially strong effects in menopausal women and African-American women. And total cholesterol levels were only significantly decreased in African-American women.

The authors speculate that these novel differences may arise from hormonal differences between the sexes, particularly considering the extra effects seen post-menopause. The racial differences observed may stem from genetic variations that require further exploration.

The authors do also note that their exercise data was assessed by questionnaire and this was non-scientific, though the particular methodology used has been extremely reliable in other studies. They also note that all reviewed participants were healthy, so these results cannot be generalized to individuals with diabetes or those on cholesterol-lowering medications.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
A number of experimental studies have observed that physical exercise can improve cholesterol levels and subsequently decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease; however, few of these studies have included enough participant diversity to provide ethnic breakdowns. Now, a long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women provides race- and gender- specific data on the cholesterol effects of physical activity, with the interesting result that women, especially African-American women, experience greater benefits as a result of exercise than men.

Medicineworld.org: Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women

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