The data base of a prospective long-term study of 50 distance runners and 43 controls indicated that the runners had significantly lower pulse rates and relative weights and elevated high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. There was no difference in the systolic and diastolic blood pressures or triglyceride, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. Relative weight and triglyceride levels did not appear to be causal factors in producing HDL elevation. It is possible that in some way distance running results in HDL-cholesterol elevation. If the inverse correlation between HDL-cholesterol concentration and development of coronary artery disease is correct, then distance runners should have a lower risk of developing coronary artery disease than nonrunners.
(JAMA 243:534-536, 1980)
Adner MM, Castelli WP. Elevated High-Density Lipoprotein Levels in Marathon Runners. JAMA. 1980;243(6):534–536. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300320026016
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