Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a distinct lipoprotein of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) class. Research has shown that elevated Lp(a) is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine whether fitness was associated with Lp(a) concentrations. Cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness, assessed by maximal treadmill time, percent body fat (hydrodensitometry), body fat distribution (waist/hip ratio), lipoprotein profile and LDL particle size (2-16% gel electrophoresis) were determined in healthy Caucasian men (N = 100) and women (N = 50). As expected, the frequency distribution of Lp(a) was highly skewed with a mean level of 16.9 +/- 19.1 [middle dot]-1 (range 0.10-90 [middle dot]-1) for men and women combined. Lp(a) was only significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with cholesterol (r = 0.29) in women and LDL-C (t = 0.22) in men. However, after correcting LDL-C for Lp(a) content, the correlation was not significant (r = 0.06). A MANCOVA, controlling for age, across highest and lowest CR fitness quartiles suggest a typical positive influence of improved CR fitness on lipoproteins, body composition, and fat distribution; however, Lp(a) levels were not affected. These data indicate that there is no direct association between plasma Lp(a) and body composition, fat distribution, or CR fitness in healthy men and women.
(C)1994The American College of Sports Medicine