, 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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Abstract

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.