Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Less inflammation, better heart health in physically fit females

25.06.2002


Physical fitness may have an anti-inflammatory effect that protects against heart attacks, according to a report in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.



In a recent study, researchers compared the level of physical fitness in 135 women from three ethnic groups to their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP level indicates inflammation.

Elevated CRP is associated with a two- to five-fold increase in the risk of heart attack. The researchers found lower levels of CRP among the most fit Caucasian and Native-American women compared with their less-fit peers. African-American women, however, failed to show the same strong correlation.


People with elevated CRP levels should begin regular exercise with guidance from their physician, says Michael J. LaMonte, Ph.D., an author of the report and director of exercise testing and research at The Fitness Institute, division of cardiology, LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Our data really support the current public health recommendation that a physically active and fit lifestyle is conducive to overall good health, and in particular to cardiovascular health," he says. "We are not talking about a marathon runner’s level of fitness. We are talking about being active on a regular basis, and a good benchmark is to be able to walk a mile and a half in about 30 or 35 minutes."

LaMonte and his colleagues hypothesized that physical fitness might protect against high levels of CRP. They analyzed data from a subset of 44 African-American, 45 Native-American, and 46 Caucasian women who were part of the Cross-Cultural Activity Participation Study (CAPS) in the mid-1990s.

In CAPS, physical fitness was determined by testing women on a treadmill while speed and angle of elevation were increased every two minutes. The women continued on the treadmill until they reached their point of exhaustion. Each woman’s treadmill time was adjusted for her age because fitness declines as the body ages, says LaMonte. Women in each of the three ethnic groups were divided into three levels of fitness – low, moderate and high – on the basis of their treadmill tests.

Previous studies of CRP and fitness had simply asked participants to estimate the amount they exercised. "The treadmill is much more accurate than self-reporting in determining fitness," says LaMonte, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah.

LaMonte and his colleagues used a highly sensitive immunoassay test to determine the CRP level in frozen blood samples that were drawn from the 135 women during CAPS. The blood was taken after a 12-hour fast and 24-hour abstinence from exercise and smoking but before their treadmill tests.

The researchers assessed CRP levels by race, fitness, obesity and waist size. They found that:

  • CRP levels were 0.43 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in African-American women, 0.25 mg/dL in Native American and 0.23 mg/dL in Caucasian women.
  • Women with low fitness had significantly higher CRP levels (0.43 mg/dL) than those in the moderate (0.26 mg/dL) and high (0.23 mg/dL) fitness categories.
  • CRP was also significantly elevated in women with the highest body mass index (BMI). Body mass index assesses body weight relative to height. It is an indirect measure of body composition that correlates with body fat in most people. People with BMI values from 18.5 to 24.9 are healthy; from 25.0 to less than 30.0 are overweight; and 30.0 or greater are considered obese. Average CRP in women with a healthy BMI was 0.19 mg/dL, in overweight women 0.34 mg/dL and in obese women 0.42 mg/dL.
  • Women whose waists measured more than 35 inches had CRP concentrations of 0.42 mg/dL, while those with lesser girth had average CRP levels of 0.25 mg/dL.

The researchers emphasize that because of the small number of women in their study, the results – however intriguing they might be – must be considered preliminary.

"The real test of their validity is for someone to do a large, long-term study that looks at the effect of changing people’s activity levels on their C-reactive protein, and also to see if the overall risk of cardiovascular disease changes," LaMonte says.


CAPS was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Women’s Health Initiative Community Trials. It was led by Barbara E. Ainsworth, Ph.D., senior author of the report.

Co-authors are J. Larry Durstine, Ph.D.; Frank G. Yanowitz, M.D.; Tobin Lim, B. S.; Katrina D. DuBose, M.S.; and Paul Davis, Ph.D.
CONTACT: For journal copies only,
please call: (214) 706-1396
For other information, call:
Maggie Francis: (214) 706-1397
Darcy Spitz: (212) 878-5940


Maggie Francis | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>