The effect of cardiorespiratory fitness on age-related lipids and lipoproteins

Yong Moon Mark Park, Xuemei Sui, Junxiu Liu, Haiming Zhou, Peter F. Kokkinos, Carl J. Lavie, James W. Hardin, Steven N. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background Evidence on the effect of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) on age-related longitudinal changes of lipids and lipoproteins is scarce. Objectives This study sought to assess the longitudinal aging trajectory of lipids and lipoproteins for the life course in adults and to determine whether CRF modifies the age-associated trajectory of lipids and lipoproteins. Methods Data came from 11,418 men, 20 to 90 years of age, without known high cholesterol, high triglycerides, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline and during follow-up from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. There were 43,821 observations spanning 2 to 25 health examinations (mean 3.5 examinations) between 1970 and 2006. CRF was quantified by a maximal treadmill exercise test. Marginal models using generalized estimating equations were applied. Results Total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) presented similar inverted U-shaped quadratic trajectories with aging: gradual increases were noted until age mid-40s to early 50s, with subsequent declines (all p < 0.0001). Compared with men with higher CRF, those with lower CRF developed abnormal values earlier in life: TC (≥200 mg/dl), LDL-C (≥130 mg/dl), non-HDL-C (≥160 mg/dl), and triglycerides/HDL-C ratio (≥3.0). Notably, abnormal values for TC and LDL-C in men with low CRF were observed around 15 years earlier than in those with high CRF. After adjusting for time-varying covariates, a significant interaction was found between age and CRF in each trajectory, indicating that CRF was more strongly associated with the aging trajectories of lipids and lipoproteins in young to middle-age men than in older men. Conclusions Our investigation reveals a differential trajectory of lipids and lipoproteins with aging according to CRF in healthy men and suggests that promoting increased CRF levels may help delay the development of dyslipidemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2091-2100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 19 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • aging
  • lipid profile trajectories
  • longitudinal study


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