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STUDY: Get Moving
JOURNAL: Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2002;22:1869-1876.
AUTHORS: Dr. Timothy S. Church
ABSTRACT: Exercise is inversely associated with levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker directly related to coronary heart disease risk.
COMMENTARY: The investigators found that men who were the most fit tended to have the lowest CRP levels, while those deemed the least fit had the highest levels. The relationship between CRP levels and exercise remained even after adjusting for age and obesity.
Specifically, the authors discovered that people who were in the second-to-lowest category of fitness were 57% less likely to have elevated CRP levels compared with those in the least fit group.
The risk of elevated CRP decreased incrementally with increasing fitness, with most fit subjects being 83% less likely to have elevated CRP levels than least fit subjects.
The relationship between CRP levels and physical activity in women is probably similar to that in men, but more complicated due to the hormonal changes that occur during menopause.