Introduction: This analysis was conducted to study the effect of a 1-yr moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program on serum lipoproteins among overweight/obese postmenopausal women.
Methods: We randomized 173 sedentary (mean V̇O2max = 20.2 mL·kg−1·min−1), overweight/obese women (body mass index (BMI) 25.0-42.0 kg·m−2 or body fat > 33% if BMI 24.0-25.0) aged 50-75 yr, not using hormone therapy, living in the Seattle area, to an exercise intervention or stretching control group. The exercise intervention included facility and home-based exercise (45 min, 5 d·wk−1 of moderate-intensity sports or recreational exercise). Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) were determined by chemical assay; low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was then calculated.
Results: Of the 173 women, 170 (98.3%) completed the study with exercisers averaging 176 (SD 91) min·wk−1 of moderate- to vigorous-intensity (60%-75% HRmax) exercise, expending approximately 3828 kJ·wk−1 (SD 2053). Exercisers, compared with stretchers, significantly increased their V̇O2max (+11%, P<0.001) and lost more body weight (−1.4 kg, P < 0.05), DEXA-% total body fat (−1.0, P < 0.005), L4-5 computed tomography intraabdominal fat (−8.6 cm2, P < 0.05) and subcutaneous abdominal fat (−28.8 cm2, P < 0.005) after 12 months. Mean (SD) baseline lipoprotein levels for TC, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides were 231 (39), 152 (39), 52 (12), and 135 (65) mg·dL−1, respectively. We observed no significant change in serum lipoprotein levels among exercisers compared with stretchers at either 3 or 12 months postrandomization. We did not observe a statistically significant effect of exercise on serum lipoproteins in subgroups that changed their intraabdominal and subcutaneous fat, percent total body fat, or V̇O2max the most, or that adhered to the exercise regimen the most over 1 yr.
Conclusion: It appears that a year long moderate-intensity exercise program alone does not significantly alter serum lipoprotein levels among overweight/obese postmenopausal women.