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Background: Many studies have shown that exercise can effectively reduce the non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) level, one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, in different sex and age groups. However, there are very few studies conducted in older women, who are in a group having a higher mortality rate due to cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, there has been no recent meta-analysis focusing on the effect of exercise on non-HDL-C level in older women. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of exercise on non-HDL-C level in older women (≥50 years old) by means of systematic review and meta-analysis of previous randomised controlled trials.
Methods: Searches were conducted from 9 electronic databases by applying specific eligibility criteria of the review. Data regarding changes in non-HDL-C, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and total cholesterol levels, were extracted as primary outcomes. Random-effect meta-analysis was used to calculate pooled effect sizes of primary and secondary outcomes.
Results: Ten studies that met the inclusion criteria were selected for meta-analysis. Random-effect meta-analysis showed statistically significant reduction in non-HDL-C level (= -9.69 mg/dL; 95%CI= -17.09 to -2.29 mg/dL; p<0.05) and increase in HDL-C level (= 3.0mg/dL; 95%CI= 0.61 to 5.4; p<0.05), but no significant change in total cholesterol level (= -5.99 mg/dL; 95%CI= -12.64 to 0.66; p>0.05) in the exercise group compared to the control group. Subgroup analysis of data from different continents showed significant subgroup differences in the non-HDL-C level after exercise (Q= 12.39; p<0.005; I2= 83.9%).
Conclusion: Exercise decreases non-HDL-C level and increases HDL-C level in older women and might be efficacious in preventing dyslipidemia and associated diseases in older women.
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