Plasma cholesterol and other blood lipids were determined in 64 college juniors and seniors during January and February 1989 (before exercise) and again during April and May 1989 (after exercise). A 14-week period of selfselected exercise was interposed between the before and after exercise cholesterol determinations. Cholesterol concentrations ranged from 127-273 mg/dl (before exercise) to 131-261 mg/dl (after exercise) in this group of students who were 22 ± 1 years of age. There were no statistically significant differences in cholesterol concentrations between the genders. Students could be further subdivided into groups with low (144 ± 3 mg/dl, n = 12), medium (176 ± 6 mg/dl, n = 35), and high (224 ± 6 mg/dl, n = 17) concentrations of cholesterol. Only students in the high cholesterol group experienced a significant reduction in total cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol after 14 weeks of exercise. High-density-lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher in women than in men in both the medium and high cholesterol subgroups before and after exercise. From these results it appears that a significant fraction of the young adult college population could be at increased risk of coronary heart disease because of inappropriately high concentrations of cholesterol. Moreover, self-selected exercise, if engaged in regularly, can reduce blood cholesterol significantly in students with high cholesterol concentrations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics