The effect of six months training on weight, body fatness and serum lipids in apparently healthy elderly Dutch men and women.
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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of a six-months training program on changes in body weight and lipid concentrations, and their interrelationship in elderly people. DESIGN: Intervention study. The elderly subjects were randomly assigned to a control group or one of two supervised aerobic training groups, either all round activities or ergometer cycling, both exercising 3-4 times a week for six months. SUBJECTS: 229 elderly men and women, aged 60-80 y. MEASUREMENTS: Various fatness parameters by anthropometry, serum lipids and peak power output. RESULTS: During the intervention, no significant changes were observed in weight or body fatness in subjects of the training groups. Serum high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol and triglycerides tended to change in a favourable direction in the elderly of the intervention groups, but only triglyceride concentration in women of the cycle ergometer group (mean difference with controls: -0.24 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.45, -0.03) and total serum cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol concentrations in subjects of the all-round activity group, (-0.32mmol/L, 95% CI: -0.63, -0.01 and -0.15mmol/L, 95% CI -0.25, -0.05, respectively) were significantly reduced as compared to controls. Regression analysis showed that the intervention-control difference in change of all lipids was independent of changes in weight, body fat and previous engagement in sport activity. CONCLUSION: Regular physical exercise in an elderly population resulted in favourable changes in serum lipid concentrations that were not significant, but no change in body weight or fatness. Change in lipid concentration could not be attributed to change in weight or body fat.
Randomized Controlled Trial
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