Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new New Year’s reason to work out: Exercise improves three measures of heart protection

20.01.2005


For decades, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was prescribed for postmenopausal women to protect them from cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, results from the Women’s Health Initiative questioned its effectiveness, which has led to more caution in prescribing and using HRT for this purpose.



So, are there other ways women can decrease their risk of heart disease? Yes – and new evidence shows that exercise may be the easiest. According to a new study, women who are more physically fit have better blood clotting profiles than women who are unfit. These positive results were evident in three different measures of the hemostatic (blood clotting) system that have previously been linked to heart attacks.

Lead author Linda Szymanski explains: "Everyone benefits from being physically fit, regardless of whether they are on HRT or not. This is particularly good news for women who are either unwilling or unable to take HRT because they can gain cardioprotective benefits by becoming physically fit. You want as many reasons as you can to get people out there to exercise. "In our study, fitness provided benefits that are not as obvious and are not usually measured by doctors or health clubs, unlike cholesterol, blood pressure, or body weight."


Szymanski got the idea for this study because "We all know exercise is linked with reduced heart attacks. Everyone says this is because exercise lowers your cholesterol, etc., but the bottom line is it’s usually a blood clot that causes a heart attack." The researchers thought exercise must have other benefits and so they tested blood-clotting variables, including clotting and fibrinolysis – the ability to prevent or break up blood clots.

The study, "Relationship of physical fitness, hormone replacement therapy and hemostatic risk factors in postmenopausal women," was conducted by Linda M. Szymanski, Craig M. Kessler and Bo Fernhall. The research appears in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society.

In this study, a number of blood clotting variables were studied in four groups of women (12 in each group) – women on HRT who were fit and unfit, and women not taking HRT who were fit and unfit, before and after a maximal exercise test. The well-known "stress test" is usually used to diagnose or test for heart disease, or to find out how fit someone is before allowing him or her to embark on an exercise program. In this case the stress test was to check how the blood clotting system reacted – and unfit women didn’t respond well by any measure.

Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), an enzyme made by the body that breaks up blood clots, was higher in physically fit women compared to unfit women. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, a blood substance that inhibits TPA, was lower in physically fit women. And, a marker that indicates blood clot activation -- prothrombin fragment 1+2 -- was also lower in fit women. Together these results suggest that exercisers may be better able to prevent the formation of blood clots, and may be one reason why exercisers are less likely to have heart attacks.

Next steps

The authors note that although the correlations in the study between general fitness and healthy blood clotting measurements are very strong, the results are essentially a "snapshot" of current health conditions and associations, but don’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The authors are currently conducting longitudinal studies to further examine the relationship between exercise and blood clotting, and other cardiovascular risk factors.

Szymanski, who now is a third-year resident in gynecology and obstetrics, noted that the "Women’s Health Initiative made everyone think more carefully about hormones and many women are now more cautious about starting hormones. Therefore, other ways to improve heart disease risk are needed." Despite the inherent limitations to the cross-sectional study, the authors emphasize that their research shows that "increased physical fitness is associated with risk reducing hemostatic profiles in postmenopausal women, which may lead to significant health benefits."

Source and funding

The study, "Relationship of physical fitness, hormone replacement therapy and hemostatic risk factors in postmenopausal women," was conducted by Linda M. Szymanski, Craig M. Kessler and Bo Fernhall. The research appears in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society. The study was carried out when the three authors were at George Washington University, Washington D.C.

Currently, Szymanski is at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore; Kessler is at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Fernhall is at the University of Illinois, Champaign (and was at Syracuse University when the paper was submitted).

Research was supported in part by a grant from the Life Fitness Academy, which supports research by young faculty and graduate students. Life Fitness, which makes exercise equipment, is a subsidiary of Brunswick Corp.

Mayer Resnick | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.the-aps.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>