Plasma lipid and lipoprotein profile in elderly male long-distance runners

Mitsuru Higuchi, T. Fuchi, K. Iwaoka, K. Yamakawa, S. Kobayashi, T. Tamai, H. Takai, T. Nakai

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate plasma lipid and lipoprotein profiles in 30 elderly male long-distance runners (aged 66±5 years, body fat 12±2%, mean±SD) by comparing them with 30 middle-aged untrained men (43±8 years, 17±3%), 30 middle-aged endurance-trained men (45±8 years, 12±2%) who were matched for training distance to the elderly runners, and 15 elderly sedentary persons (65±4 years, 16±4%). Both elderly and middle-aged runners averaged 43 km/week in the latest year. Maximal oxygen uptake in the elderly runners (48±5 ml/kg/min) was 60% higher than in age-matched untrained men, but 15% lower than in middle-aged runners. Plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC) was significantly higher in the elderly runners than in their age-matched counterparts (77 vs. 59 mg/dl), but not different from the middle-aged runners. The middle-aged runners had lower plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) concentrations than their untrained counterparts (114 vs. 129 mg/dl), whereas LDLC level in the elderly runners was almost identical to that of the age-matched untrained men (127 vs 119 mg/dl). Total cholesterol concentration in the elderly runners (219 mg/dl) was 11% higher than in the age-matched untrained men, whereas there was no difference between the middle-aged trained and untrained men. The remarkable reduction of the LDLC/HDLC ratio in the elderly runners, therefore, is attributable to the elevated HDLC rather than lowered LDLC compared with the age-matched sedentary men (1.7 vs. 2.2). The elderly runners had plasma triglyceride concentrations similar to those of the middle-aged runners, and lower than those of the sedentary men. These results suggest that regularly performed endurance exercise favourably modifies the lipid and lipoprotein profile, and may thus reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease for elderly men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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