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Cholesterol and Exercise

Elihu York, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(12):1601. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390120063017.
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To the Editor.—  The JAMA issues for November 1986 contained articles concerning cholesterol lowering and reduction of heart disease. There seems to be a consensus that lowering total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels may be desirable for most people most of the time. Dietary manipulation, drugs, cessation of smoking, and control of high blood pressure all have an impact on risk factors. None of the authors commented on exercise having an effect on blood fat or reducing risk factors.Many physicians, physiologists, nutritionists, epidemiologists, and informed members of the public are aware that aerobic activity, such as walking briskly, jogging, swimming, bike riding, or cross-country skiing, helps control weight by reducing excess fat and altering lipid levels favorably in relation to cardiac risk. Although both dietary and pharmacologic manipulation may alter lipid protein levels favorably, transiently or temporarily, long-term benefits probably will be


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