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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Physical activity enhances metabolic fitness independently of cardiorespiratory fitness in marathon runners

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High levels of cardiovascular fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) are associated with decreased mortality and risk to develop metabolic diseases. The independent contributions of CRF and PA to metabolic disease risk factors are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that runners who run consistently >50 km/wk and/or >2 marathons/yr for the last 5 years have superior metabolic fitness compared to matched sedentary subjects (CRF, age, gender, and BMI). Case-control recruitment of 31 pairs of runner-sedentary subjects identified 10 matched pairs with similar VO2max (mL/min/kg) (similar-VO2max). The similar-VO2max group was compared with a group of age, gender, and BMI matched pairs who had the largest difference in VO2max (different-VO2max). Primary outcomes that defined metabolic fitness including insulin response to an oral glucose tolerance test, fasting lipids, and fasting insulin were superior in runners versus sedentary controls despite similar VO2max. Furthermore, performance (velocity at VO2max, running economy), improved exercise metabolism (lactate threshold), and skeletal muscle levels of mitochondrial proteins were superior in runners versus sedentary controls with similar VO2max. In conclusion subjects with a high amount of PA have more positive metabolic health parameters independent of CRF. PA is thus a good marker against metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisease Markers
Volume2015
Pages (from-to)806418
Number of pages11
ISSN0278-0240
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Adult, Anaerobic Threshold, Blood Glucose, Case-Control Studies, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Insulin, Lipids, Male, Metabolome, Middle Aged, Mitochondrial Proteins, Physical Fitness, Running

ID: 46216250