, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 117-121

A study on how a 6-month aerobic exercise program can modify coronary risk factors depending on their severity in middle-aged sedentary women

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It is well known that physical exercise can reduce coronary risk factors. But how an aerobic exercise modifies coronary risk factors in relation to severity and physical fitness is still controversial.

Fifty-four middle-aged women (mean age, 55 years) completed a 6-month on-site and home-based anaerobic threshold-level exercise program. The changes in coronary risk factor profiles were observed during the pre-intervention and intervention periods. Before the intervention (during control period), most coronary risk factors showed a rather unfavorable trend. After the program, their mean body weight decreased from 56.7 to 55.7 kg (p>0.05) and the proportion of body fat from 30.9 to 27.9% (p>0.05) without any reduction in lean body mass. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased from 129.0 to 125.0 mm Hg (p>0.05) and diastolic blood pressure from 79.5 to 76.6 mm Hg (p>0.05). Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) declined from 109.6 to 103.4 mg/dl (p>0.05). Changes in SBP and FPG were most remarkable in their respective worst tertile. Serum lipids improved only modestly. Maximum oxygen uptake increased from 23.6 to 26.1 ml/kg/min (p>0.01). However, no significant correlations were found between changes in coronary risk factors and those in physical fitness. We conclude that the 6-month aerobic exercise program would modify women’s coronary risk factors depending on their initial values, probably independently of the changes in physical fitness.