The effects of exercise on the lipoprotein subclass profile: A meta-analysis of 10 interventions

Mark A. Sarzynski, Jeffrey Burton, Tuomo Rankinen, Steven N. Blair, Timothy S. Church, Jean Pierre Després, James M. Hagberg, Rian Landers-Ramos, Arthur S. Leon, Catherine R. Mikus, D. C. Rao, Richard L. Seip, James S. Skinner, Cris A. Slentz, Paul D. Thompson, Kenneth R. Wilund, William E. Kraus, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The goal was to examine lipoprotein subclass responses to regular exercise as measured in 10 exercise interventions derived from six cohorts. Methods: Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to quantify average particle size, total and subclass concentrations of very low-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein particles (VLDL-P, LDL-P, and HDL-P, respectively) before and after an exercise intervention in 1555 adults from six studies, encompassing 10 distinct exercise programs: APOE (N = 106), DREW (N = 385), GERS (N = 79), HERITAGE (N = 715), STRRIDE I (N = 168) and II (N = 102). Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to evaluate the overall estimate of mean change across the unadjusted and adjusted mean change values from each exercise group. Results: Meta-analysis of unadjusted data showed that regular exercise induced significant decreases in the concentration of large VLDL-P, small LDL-P, and medium HDL-P and mean VLDL-P size, with significant increases in the concentration of large LDL-P and large HDL-P and mean LDL-P size. These changes remained significant in meta-analysis with adjustment for age, sex, race, baseline body mass index, and baseline trait value. Conclusions: Despite differences in exercise programs and study populations, regular exercise produced putatively beneficial changes in the lipoprotein subclass profile across 10 exercise interventions. Further research is needed to examine how exercise-induced changes in lipoprotein subclasses may be associated with (concomitant changes in) cardiovascular disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Exercise training
  • Lipids
  • Lipoprotein subfractions
  • NMR spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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