G-15M Free Communication/Poster Dietary Patterns and Assessment
Total cholesterol (TC) levels are found to fluctuate with seasonal change such that they are higher in the winter and fall and lower in the spring and summer.
To determine if functionally limited elderly adults exhibit seasonal changes in TC levels.
Forty-four functionally limited elderly individuals (33 F, 11 M; 66–86yrs) were recruited to participate in a 16-week exercise program and were randomly assigned to an exercise or control group. Blood cholesterol and diet were measured at baseline (B), 8-weeks (8W) and 16-weeks (16W). Each measurement time was within a separate season: B in winter, 8W in spring, and 16W in summer. Blood cholesterol was assessed following a 12 hour fast with an LDX analyzer (Cholestech, Hayward, CA). To assess diet, subjects were instructed to keep a detailed log of everything they ate and drank for 3 days prior to testing. Food logs were analyzed using Nutritional Pro (First DataBank, Inc, San Bruno, CA).
A repeated measures ANOVA revealed a within subjects time effect (p = 0.001). Total cholesterol decreased 13.4% over time regardless of diet or exercise. There were no group effects. Diet intake (kcals, fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol) did not vary significantly, over the seasons. Thus, the results of this study add support to the literature attesting seasonal effects on total blood cholesterol levels.
Functionally limited elderly adults experience a seasonal decrease in TC independent of exercise or diet.