Abstract 1348: Improvement of Endothelial Function Can Be Induced by Intensive Exercise Training in School Children
Background: The human cardiovascular risk profile is influenced by vascular and endothelial markers. In healthy individuals as well as in patients with coronary artery disease physical exercise has the potential to positively influence these vascular and endothelial markers. Based on these assumptions the aim of our study was to evaluate the potential effect of intensive exercise training on these markers in children and adolescents with the goal of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Methods: In a total of 113 students (age 12.0 ±0.1 years, 48% female) vascular and endothelial markers (Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GCSF), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1a), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)), inflammatory markers (Interleukin -6 (IL-6), CRP) and an anti-inflammatory marker (Interleukin -10 (IL-10)) were analyzed from peripheral blood samples. 36 students (mean age 12.1 ±0.1 years, 12 female) had a high level of physical activity (PA) (> 15 hours/week) and 77 students (mean age 11.8 ±0.1 years) had regular exercise lessons (CG) of 2–3 hours/week. In addition lipid profile and anthropometric data were assessed and a treadmill exercise test with spirometry was performed. Endothelial function was assessed using the reactive hyperemic index (RHI) by finger-tonometry.
Results: Both groups had no significant differences regarding mean BMI and lipid profiles. Physical fitness (VO2max) was significantly better in students of the PA group as compared to the CG (60.6 ±1.2 ml/kg*min versus 47.3 ±0.6 ml/kg*min, p<0.001). PA students were significantly taller. PA was associated with significantly higher levels of GCSF (17.9 ±4.1 versus 11.6 ±1.0 pg/ml, p<0.001), MCP1 (16.2 ±3.5 versus 12.3 ±4.7 pg/ml, p<0.01) and IL-10 (8.6 ±2.2 versus 4.7 ±0.6 pg/ml, p<0.01). Endothelial function was significantly better for students of PA (RHI: 1.7 ±0.6 versus 1.5 ±0.8, p<0.05).
Conclusion: Physical activity has a significant impact on markers of vascular function and the amount of physical activity is important, already in childhood. Primary prevention by means of increased physical activity during childhood is an important factor to decrease risk profiles and thus lead to effective primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases.