Abstract 13215: Effect of a 6-Month Exercise-Lifestyle Intervention on Physical Performance, Lipid Profiles, and Overall Well-Being in Women at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
Background: Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in women in the United States. Supervised exercise programs in men are associated with multiple cardiac benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased diabetes, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Improved quality of life (QOL), reduced depression, better sleep, and increased psychosocial well-being are also reported, but few studies have evaluated the effects of a structured exercise program on clinical and QOL parameters in women ‘at risk’.
Methods: Women aged >18 years without known coronary artery disease (CAD) but with risk factors for CAD were enrolled in a 6-month supervised exercise program. Anthropometric measures, lipid panel, exercise capacity, and self-reported questionnaire-based assessments of depression (PHQ-9), sleepiness (Epworth), fat intake (Dietary Fat Screener), and activity (Duke Activity Status Index) were documented before and after the intervention.
Results: 101 women were enrolled between April 2010 and June 2011 with mean ± SD age 57 ± 9 yrs, weight 203 ± 49 pounds, BMI 35 ± 8 kg/m2, waist 40 ± 6 inches, total cholesterol 194 ± 37 mg/dL, triglycerides 118 ± 62 mg/dL, and glucose 103 ± 26 mg/dL. To date, the 41 women who completed the intervention demonstrated significant reductions in body weight (2.5%), BMI (2.4%), and waist circumference (8.6%; P ≤ 0.0002 for each by paired t-test). Decreases in total cholesterol (7.3%) and glucose (18.2%) were also significant (P < 0.05); triglycerides fell by 6.1% but were not significant (P = 0.06). Serial measures of heart rate, systolic and diastolic BP, and perceived exertion at standardized submaximal workloads were reduced over the program (P < 0.0001 for each). Finally, participants exhibited significant improvements in scores for each of the 4 QOL parameters measured (P < 0.01 for each).
Conclusions: Women who participate in a supervised exercise program of 6-months duration demonstrate cardioprotective adaptations in anthropometric measures, lipid profile, exercise tolerance, and questionnaire-based assessment of depression, physical activity, fat intake, and sleep characteristics. These findings have implications for reducing the present gender disparity in cardiovascular outcomes.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.