Exercise, lipids, and lipoproteins in women

Katrina L. Drowatzky, Barbara E. Ainsworth, J. Larry Durstine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coronary artery disease (CAD) prevalence in women has increased, with much attention being given to the possible causes for their increased CAD rates. As a result, present investigations are specifically focusing more on women with an emphasis given to minority women. CAD risk factors include physical inactivity, elevated blood cholesterol, abnormal blood lipoprotein profiles, smoking, hypertension, and obesity. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current literature regarding physical activity, cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles in women, with an emphasis placed on African American and Native American minority women. Exercise training does not alter plasma total cholesterol, but triglycerides and low-density-lipid cholesterol are reduced, while high-density-lipid cholesterol is elevated. However, the exercise training's effect on lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is inconclusive. Most studies have concluded that exercise training does not alter a person's Lp(a) concentrations; however, several studies have suggested that high-intensity exercise may alter a person's Lp(a) concentrations. Caucasian men and women have similar Lp(a) concentrations, whereas, African American men and women's Lp(a) concentrations are higher. Hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women does reduce Lp(a) concentrations. When studying the effect of exercise training on a lipid variable, the exercise volume and plasma volume changes need to be taken into consideration. Otherwise these factors may confound the comparison.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Kinesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • CAD
  • Lipids
  • Lp(a)
  • Minorities
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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