OBJECTIVE: To compare current coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factor values in older athletes with mid-life measures and to examine the associations between changes in CHD risk factors with aging, physical training, and physical fitness. DESIGN: Prospective study with three longitudinal evaluation points: initial (T1), 10-year (T2), and 20-year (T3). Subjects were selected because of their elite status in Masters track competition. SETTING: University and medical center laboratories PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 60 to 92 years of age and included 21 of the initial 27 subjects. At T3, subjects were divided into three groups, based on physical activity levels: high intensity (H), remained elite in national and international competition (n = 9); moderate intensity (M) continued frequent rigorous endurance training but rarely competed (n = 10); and low intensity (L) greatly reduced their training volume and intensity (n = 2). MEASUREMENTS: Smoking history; family history of coronary or cerebrovascular disease; resting blood pressure; resting electrocardiogram (ECG); serum total cholesterol, plasma glucose; body weight, % body fat, body mass index, waist:hip ratio; training pace and mileage; maximal oxygen consumption VO2 max). MAIN RESULTS: Several risk factors (smoking, diabetes, obesity) were never present, and the prevalence of other risk factors (family history of cardiovascular disease, abnormal resting ECG)remained low through T3 (≤ 14% of subjects). Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure remained low without medication, but diastolic blood pressure measurements had the greatest redistribution between evaluation periods of any risk factor (r =. 16, P = .479, T1 to T2). Mean total cholesterol was lower at T2 (-13%, P = .005) and T3 (-14%, P = .019) compared with T1. Change in VO2 max was correlated with changes in body weight (r = -.44, P = .048) and % fat (r = -.52, P =- .015) from T1 to T2. Whereas age was correlated to changes in systolic blood pressure (r = -.61, P = .003) and total cholesterol (r = -.49, P = .023) from T2 to T3. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of CHD risk factors remained low, and mean risk factor values remained low and generally stable in older athletes who had maintained habitual exercise training.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the American Geriatrics Society|
|State||Published - Dec 1997|