Cardiovascular risk is reduced by both sports training and losing weight, but the independent value of these two plans is unclear. This study examined the influence of physical exercise and weight loss on cardiac risk profiles (CRP) in overweight inactive middle-aged women.
Seventy-six individuals in a quasi-experimental design with a control group were classified for 12-week into four groups: a sports group (S, n = 20), a group with energy-restricted diet (E-rD, n = 19), a sports group with boosted diet (S-bD, n=20), and a control group (C, n = 17). The rate of energy reduction was equal (approximately 15% of the daily need for calories) to physical exercise in S and energy restriction in E-rD. The S-bD group performed the same amount of exercise but remained in energy balance due to the 15% increase in calorie intake during training. The components of CRP were measured at baseline and post-study.
Body weight was similarly diminished between S (-5.9 ± 2.8 kg) and E-rD (- 5.4 ± 2.9 kg), whereas it stayed stable in S-bD (-0.9 ± 2.9 kg), and C (-0.2 ± 5.6 kg). Levels of TC and LDL-C were lowered in S compared to C (P <0.001 for both), but not found in E-rD (P > 0.05). Changes in TC and LDL-C were associated with changes in body weight (P < 0.05). In S-bD, a rise in HDL-C was observed (P < 0.001).
Weight loss due to exercise reduces pro-atherogenic lipoproteins, whereas physical activity compensated by energy consumption raises the HDL-C level.
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