To the Editor: Nonspecific markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) are now recognized as major risk factors for cardiovascular events. General population studies have reported an inverse association between serum CRP levels and self-reported physical activity or physical fitness ( 1,2 ). These studies suggested that regular physical exercise might lower CRP levels by an anti-inflammatory action. However, an alternative explanation is that exercise lowers CRP levels by reducing total or abdominal fat. We performed a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of six months' regular exercise training on serum CRP levels and body fat measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in a healthy elderly population. Healthy elderly subjects age 60 to 85 years were recruited from the general population by newspaper advertisements. The exclusion criteria included inability to undertake an exercise-training program, current illness known to be associated with a systemic inflammatory response, a history of hypertension or diabetes, any current cardiovascular medication (including aspirin), or any evidence of cardiovascular disease on physical examination, electrocardiography, treadmill exercise testing, or echocardiography. The study protocol was approved by the University of Auckland ethics committee, and all participants gave written informed consent. Subjects were assigned randomly to
Journal of the American College of Cardiology – Elsevier
Published: Dec 21, 2004
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