High Cholesterol Delayed by Elevated Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Pharmacy Times, November 2015 Cough, Cold, & Flu, Volume 81, Issue 11

Men who maintain higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness may be able to delay blood cholesterol level increases that typically occur with aging by up to 15 years.

Men who maintain higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, defined as the body’s ability to supply oxygen to the muscles during exercise and the muscles’ ability to use that oxygen, may be able to delay blood cholesterol level increases that typically occur with aging by up to 15 years, according to the results of a recent study.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, examined data on 11,418 individuals who were observed during health examinations between 1970 and 2006. The patients’ cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using a treadmill test, while their levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, non—high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were also assessed.

The research team found that men with lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness had a greater risk of developing high cholesterol in their early 30s, while those with high fitness levels did not experience this increase until their mid-40s. Additionally, men with low cardiorespiratory fitness reached abnormal HDL and non-HDL cholesterol levels around their early 20s and mid-30s, respectively, while those with higher fitness maintained normal levels throughout their entire lives.

“These findings suggest that improving cardiorespiratory fitness levels may delay the onset of dyslipidemia,” said lead author Yong-Moon Mark Park, MD, in a press release. “Promoting this healthy lifestyle factor may also help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.”