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 Fitness and Special Populations: Exercise and Hyperlipidemia  
 
Introduction
Over the past twenty years, it has become evident that elevated levels of cholesterol and lipid components are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Lipid molecules (especially the lipoproteins) are large molecules of fat (cholesterol and tyiglycerides) combined with proteins. Although fat in the body in general performs important functions, such as lining the walls of each cell, and the formation of certain hormones (like testosterone and estrogens), over abundence of these molecules creates its own set of problems.

Types of Lipids
Of the many classes of lipids, it is well established that there are two classes that affect general health, and are affected in turn by exercise. The first group consists of cholesterols that may have adverse affects on the intima (inner lining) of the artery lining, thus creating increased risks for heart and vessel disease. These include: very-low density lipoproteins (VLDLs), low density lipoproteins (LDLs), and triglyderides. VLDL contains tryglyceride, and is a transport and storage form of fat tissue. LDL molecules are the end product of triglyceride metabolism.

High density lipoproteins (HDL), by contrast, has a protective effect against coronary artery disease10,11. HDL particles pick up free cholesterol from cells after esterification of the enzyme lecithin. HDL then transports cholesterol from liver tissue to cells requiring cholesterol or back to the liver for elimination.

The Risk Profile
The National Institutes of Health have produced a risk-statification table that would be of interest to Fitness Therapists, as it may help set guidelines for intensity-dependent workout schedules for persons depending on the severity of their lipid levels. A table is listed below:

Table 1.  Risk Profile for Specific Lipid Concentrations

 Total Cholesterol LDL Cholesterol HDL Cholesterol Tryglycerides
(all levels in mg/dl)


High Risk 245 190 351000
Moderate Risk 221-244 160-189 36-44 500-999
Mild Risk 201-220 130-159 45-54 250-499
Average Risk 182-200 <100-129 55-65 151-249
Low Risk <182 <100 65 150

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 About The Author
Eric Durak received his Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 1986. His research experience is in the application of exercise for special population groups, such as diabetes, high risk pregnancy,......more
 
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