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More Exercise Associated With Delays in Age-Related Increases in Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is associated with increased risk of a cardiovascular event. A recent study suggests that men who have higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness may delay by as much as 15 years the increases in blood cholesterol that are common in aging.

Cardiorespiratory fitness is the body's ability to supply oxygen to the muscles during exercise and the muscles ability to use that oxygen. It is improved through exercise or physical activity and is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases while improving heart and lung function.

Participants in the study included 11,418 people who took part in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study via health examinations at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, between 1970 and 2006. Their cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using a treadmill test and then standardized for age. The researchers then put each participant into a low, middle, or high fitness category. After an overnight fast, they measured cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

The researchers found that both total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides rose until a certain age in all of the men, while HDL cholesterol dropped. They found that the men with lower cardiorespiratory fitness were more likely to develop high cholesterol in their early 30s, while men with a higher fitness level did not see a similar rise until they were in their mid-40s.

The men with high fitness levels also had normal HDL levels for their entire lives, while the men with lower fitness levels had abnormal HDL and non-HDl cholesterol levels in their early 20 and mid-30s, respectively.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina conducted the study. It was published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise can reduce your risk of dying prematurely, help with blood sugar control, reduce body weight, improve heart health and improve respiratory health.
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