Race and sex similarities in exercise-induced changes in blood lipids and fatness

Chris I. Ardern, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ian Janssen, Arthur S. Leon, Jack H. Wilmore, James S. Skinner, Dabeeru C. Rao, Jean Pierre Després, Tuomo Rankinen, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study explores sex and race differences in the association between changes in fat mass (FM), abdominal visceral fat (AVF), and abdominal subcutaneous fat (ASF) on blood lipid changes consequent to aerobic exercise training. Methods: The sample included 613 participants (428 white and 185 black, 46% men) from the HERITAGE Family Study. Total FM was determined by densitometry, whereas AVF and ASF cross-sectional areas were determined by computed tomography at the L4-L5 level. Blood lipid measurements included total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and the TC/HDL-C ratio, which were obtained before and after 20 wk of supervised aerobic exercise. Canonical correlation was used to determine the multivariate associations between body fatness and blood lipids at baseline and the changes induced by exercise training. Results: Body fat accounted for 26-36% of the variance in baseline blood lipids, and changes in body fat accounted for 7-21% of the variance in changes in blood lipids with exercise training. The pattern of loadings indicated similar relationships between body fatness and blood lipids at baseline, and their respective changes with exercise training among the four sex-by-race groups. Greater fat loss, characterized by loss of FM, AVF, and ASF, was associated with a greater blood lipid response characterized by an increase in HDL-C and decreases in LDL-C, TG, TC, and TC/HDL-C. Although the pattern of loadings was similar in all groups, the strength of the association was stronger in blacks than in whites. Conclusion: The multivariate associations among fat loss and changes in blood lipids consequent to aerobic exercise training are similar in black and white men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1615
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Adipose tissue
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Canonical correlation
  • Ethnicity
  • Exercise training
  • Lipoproteins


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