Habitual exercisers enjoy considerable protection from coronary heart disease (CHD). Often, however, only modest differences in traditional CHD risk factors are apparent between habitual exercisers and their sedentary counterparts. For this reason, there is increasing interest in novel predictors of CHD, such as a preponderance of small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to separate lipoprotein subfractions in 32 lean exercisers, 36 lean sedentary men and 21 obese sedentary men aged 30-45 years. Well-validated equations were used to determine LDL concentration and peak particle diameter. Waist girth was used to identify lean (< 100cm) and obese (≥ 100 cm) individuals. LDL concentration was lower in lean exercisers than in lean sedentary men (2.64 ± 0.44 vs. 3.7610.79 mmol·l-1, p < 0.001), suggesting that habitual exercise influences this risk factor. In contrast, there were no significant differences in LDL peak particle diameter between lean exercisers, lean sedentary men and obese sedentary men (27.92 ± 0.67, 28.09 ± 0.62 and 27.77 ± 0.77 nm, respectively). In multiple linear regression analysis, triglyceride concentration was the only significant predictor of LDL PPD. These data suggest that habitual exercise influences LDL concentration but does not influence LDL particle size in men aged 30-45 years.
- Coronary heart disease
- Low-density lipoprotein particle size
- Waist girth