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February 8, 1980

Elevated High-Density Lipoprotein Levels in Marathon Runners

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Framingham (Mass) Union Hospital (Dr Adner); and the Framingham Heart Disease Epidemiology Study (Dr Castelli).

JAMA. 1980;243(6):534-536. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300320026016

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)