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Effects of exercise and estrogen therapy on lipid profiles of postmenopausal women


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 1998 - Volume 30 - Issue 7 - p 1028-1034
Clinical Sciences: Clinically Relevant

Effects of exercise and estrogen therapy on lipid profiles of postmenopausal women. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 7, pp. 1028-1034, 1998.

Purpose: We compared the effects of aerobic exercise training on lipid and lipoprotein levels in 18 postmenopausal women who were (N = 8) or were not (N = 10) receiving estrogen replacement therapy (ERT).

Methods: Each group was tested for lipids, diet recall and V˙O2max before and after a 12 wk exercise program, consisting of 30-50 min of an aerobic activity at 75-85% of V˙O2max, 3-4 sessions per week.

Results: Both groups increased V˙O2max by 8% and neither group changed their diet. The ERT group had higher levels of triglycerides and lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL-C) (P < 0.01) before training. There were no mean group changes in any of the lipid variables with training. However, individual changes in LDL-C and Total Cholesterol (TC) were strongly related to baseline weight in the nonestrogen group (r = −0.91, r = −0.82) but not in ERT (r = −0.30, r = −0.51). Subsequently, all subjects were redivided into two groups based on BMI (≤ 27 or > 27) regardless of ERT status. TC decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in the ≤ 27 BMI group but not in the > 27 BMI group.

Conclusions: Exercise training had little effect on the lipid profiles of the ERT and the nonestrogen groups, but body weight seems to be a modulating factor. Heavier subjects did not respond as favorably to 12 wk of exercise training as postmenopausal women with less body mass, regardless of the presence of exogenous estrogen.

Exercise Science Programs and the Lipid Research Clinic, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC

Submitted for publication May 1996.

Accepted for publication October 1997.

Address for correspondence: Randi Klebanoff, 2933 N. Sheridan #1005, Chicago IL 60657.

© Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.