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We sought to determine whether a specialist-taught physical education (PE) program during elementary school influenced lipid concentrations in community-based children.
In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, 734 healthy children (8.1 ± 0.3 years; 369 boys) in 29 schools were allocated to either a four-year intervention program of specialist-taught PE (SPE) or a standard PE program (CP) conducted by classroom teachers.
With no baseline differences in fasting lipid levels between groups, the percentage of children with elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol(LDL-C) (>3.36mmol. L-1,130 mg/dL) by age 12 years was lower in the intervention PE group (14% vs. 23%, p=0.02). Total cholesterol mirrored the LDL-C effect, but there were no intervention effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglycerides concentrations. An intervention effect was also observed across the full range of LDL-C in boys (average reduction in LDL-C: 9.6% vs. 2.8%; p=0.01) but not girls, and was most pronounced in the first two years (Figure). The reduction in LDL-C corresponded with an intervention effect on percent body fat, which was also most pronounced in boys over the first two years.
Physical activity, delivered through specialist-taught PE, results in a reduction in LDL-C and total cholesterol concentrations during preadolescence; with effects that were more evident in boys and probably mediated through a reduction in adiposity.
Poster Sessions, Expo North
Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Session Title: Prevention: Cardiovascular Risk around the Globe
Abstract Category: 24. Prevention: Clinical
Presentation Number: 1187-17
- 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation