Study aim: To assess the effects of gender, age and engagement in physical activities of elderly subjects on their plasma lipid profiles.
Material and methods: Four groups of subjects, n = 11 each, participated in the study: young men (YM) and women (YW), aged 25 - 32 years, and sedentary, elderly men (EM) and women (EW), aged 58 - 66 years; additionally, a group of 7 women (AW), aged 60 - 65 years, who trained twice weekly (45-min sessions) for 8 months, was studied. The following concentrations of lipids in plasma were recorded: triacylglycerols (TG), total cholesterol (TC) and its fractions: HDLC and LDLC (computed), as well as the TC/HDLC ratio.
Results: Lipid profiles were, generally, less favourable in elderly than in younger subjects, high HDLC values noted in active, elderly women being an exception. In elderly subjects, men's profiles were closer to those of younger subjects than in elderly women and differed significantly (p<0.001) lower for TC and LDLC compared with EW group. Triacylglycerols were within normal limits in all groups except EW; LDLC values were mostly abnormally high, the percentages of subjects having normal values ranging from 0 (YM and EW) to 27% (YW).
Conclusions: The age-dependent worsening of lipid profiles increased the risk of cardiovascular diseases in sedentary elderly subjects. On the other hand, the beneficial effects of motor activities on lipid profile observed in elderly women evidence the indispensability recommending of physical exercises to the elderly.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.