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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
It is well known that exercise is good for health. Fit people tend to live longer and with less serious disease than unfit people. In particular, cardiovascular disease responds very well to physical exercise, and cholesterol testing shows people significantly improve their levels of all forms of cholesterol.
A recent study of over 8,700 middle-aged women and men has found that the benefits to cholesterol from physical activity are not the same between the sexes. Using questionnaires, they assessed the physical activity history of patients in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.
Data appearing in the Journal of Lipid Research shows that over a 12-year period, women who increased their physical activity by roughly 180 metabolic units (roughly an additional hour of mild exercise or 30 minutes of moderate exercise) a week saw significant lowering of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, with a rise in HDL cholesterol. The men in the study saw the effects on HDL and triglycerides, but blood tests showed no effect on LDL cholesterol.
The authors speculate that the effects may have to do with hormonal differences between the sexes.
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