Changes in plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels in men and women after a program of moderate exercise.
Levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and other lipids and lipoproteins of 24 men and 37 women were measured before and after a 10-week exercise program. The program involved three sessions of aerobic exercise each week, with 15-20 minutes of activity at 70% of maximal heart rate. Men and women had significantly different lipid patterns in response to exercise, despite equivalent increases in maximal oxygen uptake. Men showed a 5.1% increase in HDL cholesterol, a 6% decrease in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and a 12.4% increase in the HDL/LDL ratio. In contrast, women showed a 1% decrease in HDL cholesterol, a 4.3% decrease in LDL cholesterol, and no significant change in HDL/LDL ratio. The number of sessions attended correlated positively with HDL/LDL changes in men and correlated negatively with HDL/LDL changes in women. These findings suggest that moderate exercise may have different effects on men and women.
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