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Arsenault, B. J., M. Cote, et al. (2009). "Effect of exercise training on cardiometabolic risk markers among sedentary, but metabolically healthy overweight or obese post-menopausal women with elevated blood pressure." Atherosclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of exercise training on markers of the lipoprotein-lipid profile and inflammatory markers in post-menopausal overweight/obese women with a moderately elevated systolic blood pressure. METHODS: A total of 267 women [mean body mass index (BMI)=32.0+/-5.7kg/m(2) and mean age=57.3+/-6.6 years] underwent a 6-month exercise intervention program. Exercise training was performed 3-4 times per week at a targeted heart rate corresponding to 50% of the maximal oxygen consumption. RESULTS: Compared to baseline values, mean change in relative VO(2) max (the primary endpoint) was of 1.18+/-2.25mL/minkg (p<0.0001), mean weight loss was of 1.4+/-3.3kg (p<0.0001), mean reduction in waist circumference was of 2.4+/-6.9cm (p<0.0001) and systolic blood pressure did not change significantly (-1.2+/-13.0mmHg, NS). No changes were observed in markers of the lipoprotein-lipid profile. No changes were observed for plasma levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumor-necrosis factor-alpha and adiponectin. Changes in VO(2) max were negatively associated with changes in body weight (r=-0.26, p<0.0001) and waist circumference (r=-0.16, p=0.01), but not with changes in cardiometabolic risk markers. CONCLUSION: Although exercise training significantly increased cardiorespiratory fitness in these sedentary, but metabolically healthy obese/overweight women with a moderately elevated systolic blood pressure, no significant improvements were observed in their cardiometabolic risk profile.

Aubert, G. and P. M. Lansdorp (2008). "Telomeres and Aging." Physiol. Rev. 88(2): 557-579.
Telomeres play a central role in cell fate and aging by adjusting the cellular response to stress and growth stimulation on the basis of previous cell divisions and DNA damage. At least a few hundred nucleotides of telomere repeats must "cap" each chromosome end to avoid activation of DNA repair pathways. Repair of critically short or "uncapped" telomeres by telomerase or recombination is limited in most somatic cells and apoptosis or cellular senescence is triggered when too many "uncapped" telomeres accumulate. The chance of the latter increases as the average telomere length decreases. The average telomere length is set and maintained in cells of the germline which typically express high levels of telomerase. In somatic cells, telomere length is very heterogeneous but typically declines with age, posing a barrier to tumor growth but also contributing to loss of cells with age. Loss of (stem) cells via telomere attrition provides strong selection for abnormal and malignant cells, a process facilitated by the genome instability and aneuploidy triggered by dysfunctional telomeres. The crucial role of telomeres in cell turnover and aging is highlighted by patients with 50% of normal telomerase levels resulting from a mutation in one of the telomerase genes. Short telomeres in such patients are implicated in a variety of disorders including dyskeratosis congenita, aplastic anemia, pulmonary fibrosis, and cancer. Here the role of telomeres and telomerase in human aging and aging-associated diseases is reviewed.

Aviv, A. (2008). "The Epidemiology of Human Telomeres: Faults and Promises." J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 63 979-983.

Bray, M. S., J. M. Hagberg, et al. (2009). "The human gene map for performance and health-related fitness phenotypes: the 2006-2007 update." Med Sci Sports Exerc 41(1): 35-73.
This update of the human gene map for physical performance and health-related fitness phenotypes covers the research advances reported in 2006 and 2007. The genes and markers with evidence of association or linkage with a performance or a fitness phenotype in sedentary or active people, in responses to acute exercise, or for training-induced adaptations are positioned on the map of all autosomes and sex chromosomes. Negative studies are reviewed, but a gene or a locus must be supported by at least one positive study before being inserted on the map. A brief discussion on the nature of the evidence and on what to look for in assessing human genetic studies of relevance to fitness and performance is offered in the introduction, followed by a review of all studies published in 2006 and 2007. The findings from these new studies are added to the appropriate tables that are designed to serve as the cumulative summary of all publications with positive genetic associations available to date for a given phenotype and study design. The fitness and performance map now includes 214 autosomal gene entries and quantitative trait loci plus seven others on the X chromosome. Moreover, there are 18 mitochondrial genes that have been shown to influence fitness and performance phenotypes. Thus,the map is growing in complexity. Although the map is exhaustive for currently published accounts of genes and exercise associations and linkages, there are undoubtedly many more gene-exercise interaction effects that have not even been considered thus far. Finally, it should be appreciated that most studies reported to date are based on small sample sizes and cannot therefore provide definitive evidence that DNA sequence variants in a given gene are reliably associated with human variation in fitness and performance traits.

Chakravarty, E. F., H. B. Hubert, et al. (2008). "Reduced disability and mortality among aging runners: a 21-year longitudinal study." Arch Intern Med 168(15): 1638-46.
BACKGROUND: Exercise has been shown to improve many health outcomes and well-being of people of all ages. Long-term studies in older adults are needed to confirm disability and survival benefits of exercise. METHODS: Annual self-administered questionnaires were sent to 538 members of a nationwide running club and 423 healthy controls from northern California who were 50 years and older beginning in 1984. Data included running and exercise frequency, body mass index, and disability assessed by the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI; scored from 0 [no difficulty] to 3 [unable to perform]) through 2005. A total of 284 runners and 156 controls completed the 21-year follow-up. Causes of death through 2003 were ascertained using the National Death Index. Multivariate regression techniques compared groups on disability and mortality. RESULTS: At baseline, runners were younger, leaner, and less likely to smoke compared with controls. The mean (SD) HAQ-DI score was higher for controls than for runners at all time points and increased with age in both groups, but to a lesser degree in runners (0.17 [0.34]) than in controls (0.36 [0.55]) (P < .001). Multivariate analyses showed that runners had a significantly lower risk of an HAQ-DI score of 0.5 (hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.46-0.84). At 19 years, 15% of runners had died compared with 34% of controls. After adjustment for covariates, runners demonstrated a survival benefit (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% confidence interval, 0.45-0.82). Disability and survival curves continued to diverge between groups after the 21-year follow-up as participants approached their ninth decade of life. CONCLUSION: Vigorous exercise (running) at middle and older ages is associated with reduced disability in later life and a notable survival advantage.

Chang, C. L., C. M. Chiu, et al. (2009). "The relationship between quality of life and aerobic fitness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis." Clin Rheumatol 28(6): 685-91.
Aerobic fitness is among the various aspects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients' lives that may deteriorate as a result of the disease and, in doing so, influence patient attitudes toward their own general health. This cross-sectional study examined (1) relationships between patients' aerobic fitness and general health perceptions, (2) relationships between functional aerobic impairment and general health perceptions, (3) the impact of body mass index (BMI) on RA patients' cardiopulmonary functioning. Sixty-six RA patients (ten male and 56 female adults) participated in this study. Following maximum graded exercise tolerance testing to determine their subsequent aerobic fitness, they completed a version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life brief form (WHOQOL-BREF, short form) questionnaire. The one sample t test determined differences between the RA group and the reference data. We used Spearman's correlation analyses to assess the associations between variables of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire and patients' aerobic fitness. VO(2 peak) was on average 92.00% +/- 13.37% and 77.93% +/- 20.24% of that predicted for age-matched men and women, respectively. The female patients' BMI was significantly lower than that of the reference data (P < 0.0001). Spearman's correlation coefficient demonstrated a significant association between WHOQOL-BREF scores and VO(2 peak) in the physical (P = 0.002; mobility, work) and psychological (P = 0.009; self-esteem, body image, and negative feelings) domains for the female patients. It also demonstrated a significant association between the WHOQOL-BREF scores and functional aerobic impairment in the physical (P = 0.006; energy, mobility, activity), psychological (P = 0.008; self-esteem and body images), and environment (P = 0.035; finance, service) domains for the female patients. Our results indicated that impaired aerobic fitness, combined with poor physical and psychological well-being, influenced midlife transition in Taiwanese RA women.

Chase, N. L., X. Sui, et al. (2009). "The association of cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity with incidence of hypertension in men." Am J Hypertens 22(4): 417-24.
BACKGROUND: Few prospective studies have simultaneously investigated the relationship between physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and the development of hypertension in initially normotensive individuals. In the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS), we examined this association among initially healthy normotensive men. METHODS: Participants were 16,601 men aged 20-82 years who completed a baseline examination during 1970-2002 and were followed for hypertension incidence. Physical activity was self-reported and CRF was quantified from the duration of a maximal treadmill test. RESULTS: A total of 2,346 men reported hypertension during a mean 18 years of follow-up. Event rates per 10,000 man-years adjusted for age and examination year were 86.2, 76.6, and 66.7 across physical activity groups of sedentary, walker/jogger/runner (WJR), and sport/fitness, respectively, and 89.8, 78.4, and 64.6 for low, middle, and high CRF, respectively (trend P < 0.0001). These associations persisted after further adjustment for body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol intake, resting systolic blood pressure, baseline health status, family history of diseases, and survey response patterns. CONCLUSION: Both physical activity and CRF are associated with lower risk of developing hypertension in a graded fashion. These findings provide a basis for health professionals to emphasize the importance of participating in regular physical activity to improve fitness for the primary prevention of hypertension in men.

Colon-Ramos, U., A. A. Atienza, et al. (2009). "Practicing what they preach: health behaviors of those who provide health advice to extensive social networks." J Health Commun 14(2): 119-30.
As a way of identifying a conduit to disseminate health information, this study aims to explore health behaviors and attitudes of a unique group of extensively socially-networked individuals who regularly are asked for their health advice. Respondents from a population-based consumer opinion panel (n = 2,639) were categorized as "extensively socially-networked" (75+ friends and acquaintances, and almost daily giving friends advice on general issues) vs. "non-networked." The networked respondents were further divided into "health-networked" (regularly asked for health advice) versus "only-socially-networked" groups (asked for general advice, not health). Chi-square analyses, ANOVA tests, and multivariate regressions controlling for sociodemographic variables compared health behaviors and attitudes between groups. Results indicated that health-networked individuals reported more positive health behaviors (e.g., fruit and vegetable consumption) and attitudes than only-socially-networked and non-networked individuals. Future research is warranted to elucidate how providing health advice to a large network contributes to the positive health of health-networked individuals. Exploratory analyses revealed that doctors and health/fitness magazines were main sources of health and nutrition information for health-networked respondents. Through their advice and word-of-mouth, health-networked individuals have the potential to influence the health information of large groups of people and, therefore, may serve as valuable change agents to disseminate health and nutrition information.

Currie, J., R. Ramsbottom, et al. (2009). "Cardio-respiratory fitness, habitual physical activity and serum brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in men and women." Neurosci Lett 451(2): 152-5.
Short episodes of high intensity exercise transiently increase serum levels of BDNF in humans, but serum levels of BDNF at rest appear to be lower in more physically active humans with greater levels of energy expenditure. The relationship between serum BDNF concentration, cardio-respiratory fitness (Astrand-Rhyming test estimated VO2 max) and volume of long-term, regular exercise and sporting activity (Baecke Habitual Physical Activity Index) was investigated in 44 men and women between the age range of 18-57 years. In this group an inverse relationship between resting serum BDNF concentration and measures of both estimated VO2 max (r=-0.352; P<0.05) and long-term sporting activity (r=-0.428, P<0.01) was found. These results indicate that increased levels of cardio-respiratory fitness and habitual exercise are associated with lower resting levels of serum BDNF in healthy humans. This is the first study to demonstrate an inverse relationship between a physiological estimate of cardio-respiratory fitness and serum BDNF.

Erickson, K. I., R. S. Prakash, et al. (2009). "Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans." Hippocampus.
Deterioration of the hippocampus occurs in elderly individuals with and without dementia, yet individual variation exists in the degree and rate of hippocampal decay. Determining the factors that influence individual variation in the magnitude and rate of hippocampal decay may help promote lifestyle changes that prevent such deterioration from taking place. Aerobic fitness and exercise are effective at preventing cortical decay and cognitive impairment in older adults and epidemiological studies suggest that physical activity can reduce the risk for developing dementia. However, the relationship between aerobic fitness and hippocampal volume in elderly humans is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether individuals with higher levels of aerobic fitness displayed greater volume of the hippocampus and better spatial memory performance than individuals with lower fitness levels. Furthermore, in exploratory analyses, we assessed whether hippocampal volume mediated the relationship between fitness and spatial memory. Using a region-of-interest analysis on magnetic resonance images in 165 nondemented older adults, we found a triple association such that higher fitness levels were associated with larger left and right hippocampi after controlling for age, sex, and years of education, and larger hippocampi and higher fitness levels were correlated with better spatial memory performance. Furthermore, we demonstrated that hippocampal volume partially mediated the relationship between higher fitness levels and enhanced spatial memory. Our results clearly indicate that higher levels of aerobic fitness are associated with increased hippocampal volume in older humans, which translates to better memory function. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Forman, J. P. S., Meir J.; Curhan, Gary C. (2009). "Diet and Lifestyle Risk Factors Associated With Incident Hypertension in Women." JAMA 302(4): 401-41.

Galson, S. K. (2009). "Make time for daily physical activity." J Am Diet Assoc 109(1): 18.

GJØVAAG, T. F. and H. A. DAHL (2009). "Effect of Training with Different Mechanical Loadings on MyHC and GLUT4 Changes." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 41(1): 129-136 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181844e42.
Purpose: There is an inverse relationship between insulin sensitivity and percentage of myosin heavy chain IIx (MyHC IIx) isoform in sedentary, obese, and type 2 diabetic humans. How different exercise conditions may reduce the proportion of MyHC IIx and in parallel elevate glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) content is interesting in a therapeutic setting. This study investigates the nature of exercise signals regulating MyHC gene switching and whether it is accompanied by GLUT4 changes. Methods: Thirty-two subjects performed high loading (60% of 1 repetition maximum [RM]) or low loading (30% of 1 RM) elbow extensions in a training apparatus and exercised three times per week for either 5 wk (low volume) or 8 wk (high volume). MyHC and GLUT4 contents in the musculus triceps brachii were measured by Western blotting pre- and posttraining and after 8 wk of detraining. Results: All training regimes resulted in MyHC IIx changes of similar magnitude, and differences in training volume had no effect on the outcome. The reduction in MyHC IIx content after high loading, high volume was similar to low loading, matching volume of training. Thus, there was no effect of training load on MyHC changes. GLUT4 increased more after high than low loading (P < 0.0.1). In addition, the larger increases in the GLUT4 were associated with the larger reductions in MyHC IIx content (r = -0.56, P < 0.01). Detraining returned GLUT4 to baseline, but MyHC IIx content was still higher than baseline (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Magnitude of loading is not important for suppression of MyHC IIx but for increases in GLUT4 content. The GLUT4 content responded, however, more rapidly to detraining than the MyHC IIx and IIa isoforms. (C)2009The American College of Sports Medicine

Gordon-Larsen, P., J. Boone-Heinonen, et al. (2009). "Active commuting and cardiovascular disease risk: the CARDIA study." Arch Intern Med 169(13): 1216-23.
BACKGROUND: There is little research on the association of lifestyle exercise, such as active commuting (walking or biking to work), with obesity, fitness, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 2364 participants enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study who worked outside the home during year 20 of the study (2005-2006). Associations between walking or biking to work (self-reported time, distance, and mode of commuting) with body weight (measured height and weight); obesity (body mass index [BMI], calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, >or= 30); fitness (symptom-limited exercise stress testing); objective moderate-vigorous physical activity (accelerometry); CVD risk factors (blood pressure [oscillometric systolic and diastolic]); and serum measures (fasting measures of lipid, glucose, and insulin levels) were separately assessed by sex-stratified multivariable linear (or logistic) regression modeling. RESULTS: A total of 16.7% of participants used any means of active commuting to work. Controlling for age, race, income, education, smoking, examination center, and physical activity index excluding walking, men with any active commuting (vs none) had reduced likelihood of obesity (odds ratio [OR], 0.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33-0.76), reduced CVD risk: ratio of geometric mean triglyceride levels (trig(active))/(trig(nonactive)) = 0.88 (95% CI, 0.80 to 0.98); ratio of geometric mean fasting insulin (FI(active))/(FI(nonactive)) = 0.86 (95% CI, 0.78 to 0.93); difference in mean diastolic blood pressure (millimeters of mercury) (DBP(active)) - (DBP(nonactive)) = -1.67 (95% CI, -3.20 to -0.15); and higher fitness: mean difference in treadmill test duration (in seconds) in men (TT(active)) - (TT(nonactive)) = 50.0 (95% CI, 31.45 to 68.59) and women (TT(active)) - (TT(nonactive)) = 28.77 (95% CI, 11.61 to 45.92). CONCLUSIONS: Active commuting was positively associated with fitness in men and women and inversely associated with BMI, obesity, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin level in men. Active commuting should be investigated as a modality for maintaining or improving health.

Haskell-Luevano, C., J. W. Schaub, et al. (2009). "Voluntary exercise prevents the obese and diabetic metabolic syndrome of the melanocortin-4 receptor knockout mouse." FASEB J 23(2): 642-55.
Exercise is a mechanism for maintenance of body weight in humans. Morbidly obese human patients have been shown to possess single nucleotide polymorphisms in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). MC4R knockout mice have been well characterized as a genetic model that possesses phenotypic metabolic disorders, including obesity, hyperphagia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperleptinemia, similar to those observed in humans possessing dysfunctional hMC4Rs. Using this model, we examined the effect of voluntary exercise of MC4R knockout mice that were allowed access to a running wheel for a duration of 8 wk. Physiological parameters that were measured included body weight, body composition of fat and lean mass, food consumption, body length, and blood levels of cholesterol and nonfasted glucose, insulin, and leptin. At the termination of the experiment, hypothalamic mRNA expression levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related protein (AGRP), proopiomelanocortin (POMC), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), orexin, brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), phosphatase with tensin homology (Pten), melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R), and NPY-Y1R were determined. In addition, islet cell distribution and function in the pancreas were examined. In the exercising MC4R knockout mice, the pancreatic islet cell morphology and other physiological parameters resembled those observed in the wild-type littermate controls. Gene expression profiles identified exercise as having a significant effect on hypothalamic POMC, orexin, and MC3R levels. Genotype had a significant effect on AGRP, POMC, CART, and NPY-Y1R, with an exercise and genotype interaction effect on NPY gene expression. These data support the hypothesis that voluntary exercise can prevent the genetic predisposition of melanocortin-4 receptor-associated obesity and diabetes.

Jones, S. (2000). Darwin's ghost : The origin of species updated. New York, Random House.

Kemmler, W., S. Von Stengel, et al. (2009). "Exercise decreases the risk of metabolic syndrome in elderly females." Med Sci Sports Exerc 41(2): 297-305.
PURPOSE: To determine the effect of exercise based on a multiple purpose, high-intensity philosophy on parameters of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in older females with the MetS. METHODS: Thirty-two women (68.7 +/- 3.4 yr) with the MetS according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) took part in the exercise training (EG), and 33 females (69.5 +/- 4.3 yr) also with MetS served as control group (CG). Beside the diagnostic tools of the MetS (waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL-C, blood pressure, and glucose), corresponding anthropometric parameters, total cholesterol, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were determined. RESULTS: After 12 months of exercise, significant effects were observed for total body fat [EG: -1287 g vs CG: +484 g; P = 0.001; confidence interval (CI) = -2787 to -744 g], trunk fat (-1070 vs -203 g; P = 0.005; CI = -1460 to -274 g), hip circumference (-2.1 vs +1.0 cm; P = 0.001; CI = -4.8 to -1.3 cm), triglycerides: (-24.1 vs -0.3 mg dL(-1); P = 0.021; CI = -43.9 to -3.7 mg dL(-1)), total cholesterol: (-19.8 vs +0.2 mg dL(-1); P = 0.008; CI = -34.6 to -5.5 mg dL(-1)), and HDL-C: (+3.8 vs -0.2 mg dL(-1); P = 0.036; CI = 0.3 to 7.6 mg dL(-1)). Waist circumference slightly decreased in both groups (EG: -0.7% vs CG: -0.6%; P = 0.94). Resting systolic (-7.1 vs -6.4 mm Hg; P = 0.84) and diastolic (-8.0 vs -+9.8 mm Hg; P = 0.39) blood pressure significantly decreased in both groups. Changes of glucose and hsCRP did not significantly vary between groups (glucose: +0.7 vs +1.0 mg dL(-1), P = 0.88; hsCRP: -0.68 vs -0.50 mg L(-1), P = 0.36). The number of criteria of the MetS significantly decreased in the EG (4.13-3.66) and slightly decreased in the CG (4.12-3.97); however, significant time group interactions were not observed (P = 0.15; CI = -0.74 to 0.12). CONCLUSION: Our multipurpose exercise program significantly affects most parameters of the MetS in elderly women.

Kingdon, J. (2003). Lowly origin : where, when, and why our ancestors first stood up. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Kodama, S., K. Saito, et al. (2009). "Cardiorespiratory fitness as a quantitative predictor of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in healthy men and women: a meta-analysis." JAMA 301(19): 2024-35.
CONTEXT: Epidemiological studies have indicated an inverse association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and coronary heart disease (CHD) or all-cause mortality in healthy participants. OBJECTIVE: To define quantitative relationships between CRF and CHD events, cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, or all-cause mortality in healthy men and women. DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SELECTION: A systematic literature search was conducted for observational cohort studies using MEDLINE (1966 to December 31, 2008) and EMBASE (1980 to December 31, 2008). The Medical Subject Headings search terms used included exercise tolerance, exercise test, exercise/physiology, physical fitness, oxygen consumption, cardiovascular diseases, myocardial ischemia, mortality, mortalities, death, fatality, fatal, incidence, or morbidity. Studies reporting associations of baseline CRF with CHD events, CVD events, or all-cause mortality in healthy participants were included. DATA EXTRACTION: Two authors independently extracted relevant data. CRF was estimated as maximal aerobic capacity (MAC) expressed in metabolic equivalent (MET) units. Participants were categorized as low CRF (< 7.9 METs), intermediate CRF (7.9-10.8 METs), or high CRF (> or = 10.9 METs). CHD and CVD were combined into 1 outcome (CHD/CVD). Risk ratios (RRs) for a 1-MET higher level of MAC and for participants with lower vs higher CRF were calculated with a random-effects model. DATA SYNTHESIS: Data were obtained from 33 eligible studies (all-cause mortality, 102 980 participants and 6910 cases; CHD/CVD, 84 323 participants and 4485 cases). Pooled RRs of all-cause mortality and CHD/CVD events per 1-MET higher level of MAC (corresponding to 1-km/h higher running/jogging speed) were 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84-0.90) and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.82-0.88), respectively. Compared with participants with high CRF, those with low CRF had an RR for all-cause mortality of 1.70 (95% CI, 1.51-1.92; P < .001) and for CHD/CVD events of 1.56 (95% CI, 1.39-1.75; P < .001), adjusting for heterogeneity of study design. Compared with participants with intermediate CRF, those with low CRF had an RR for all-cause mortality of 1.40 (95% CI, 1.32-1.48; P < .001) and for CHD/CVD events of 1.47 (95% CI, 1.35-1.61; P < .001), adjusting for heterogeneity of study design. CONCLUSIONS: Better CRF was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality and CHD/CVD. Participants with a MAC of 7.9 METs or more had substantially lower rates of all-cause mortality and CHD/CVD events compared with those with a MAC of less 7.9 METs.

Laukkanen, J. A., D. Laaksonen, et al. (2009). "Determinants of cardiorespiratory fitness in men aged 42 to 60 years with and without cardiovascular disease." Am J Cardiol 103(11): 1598-604.
Good cardiorespiratory fitness has been found to protect against cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to investigate determinants of directly measured cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max]), including age, body composition, prevalent diseases, cardiovascular and pulmonary functions, biochemical factors, physical activity, nutrition, smoking, and alcohol consumption, in a population-based study of 936 men 42 to 60 years of age. Variables that had the strongest direct associations with VO2max (milliliters per minute) in a linear multivariate step-up regression model were body weight, heart rate at maximal exercise, mean intensity and frequency of conditioning physical activity, intake of carbohydrates, blood hemoglobin, and forced expiratory volume in 1 second. The strongest inverse associations with VO2max were heart rate at rest, age, fasting serum insulin, waist-to-hip ratio, coronary heart disease, and asthma. This model accounted for 67% of the variation of VO2max. In conclusion, mean intensity, frequency, and duration of conditioning physical activity were associated directly with VO2max. However, measurements of the function of pulmonary and cardiovascular systems, carbohydrate intake, and body composition were powerful determinants of cardiorespiratory fitness, especially in older middle-aged men.

Martin, C. K., T. S. Church, et al. (2009). "Exercise dose and quality of life: a randomized controlled trial." Arch Intern Med 169(3): 269-78.
BACKGROUND: Improved quality of life (QOL) is a purported benefit of exercise, but few randomized controlled trials and no dose-response trials have been conducted to examine this assertion. METHODS: The effect of 50%, 100%, and 150% of the physical activity recommendation on QOL was examined in a 6-month randomized controlled trial. Participants were 430 sedentary postmenopausal women (body mass index range, 25.0-43.0 [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared]) with elevated systolic blood pressure randomized to a nonexercise control group (n = 92) or 1 of 3 exercise groups: exercise energy expenditure of 4 (n = 147), 8 (n = 96), or 12 (n = 95) kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per week. Eight aspects of physical and mental QOL were measured at baseline and month 6 with the use of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. RESULTS: Change in all mental and physical aspects of QOL, except bodily pain, was dose dependent (trend analyses were significant, and exercise dose was a significant predictor of QOL change; P < .05). Higher doses of exercise were associated with larger improvements in mental and physical aspects of QOL. Controlling for weight change did not attenuate the exercise-QOL association. CONCLUSION: Exercise-induced QOL improvements were dose dependent and independent of weight change.

Nilsson, P. M., P. Boutouyrie, et al. (2009). "Vascular Aging: A Tale of EVA and ADAM in Cardiovascular Risk Assessment and Prevention." Hypertension 54(1): 3-10.

Peterson, J. M., R. W. Bryner, et al. (2008). "Mitochondrial apoptotic signaling is elevated in cardiac but not skeletal muscle in the obese Zucker rat and is reduced with aerobic exercise." J Appl Physiol 105(6): 1934-43.
Mitochondrial apoptosis and apoptotic signaling modulations by aerobic training were studied in cardiac and skeletal muscles of obese Zucker rats (OZR), a rodent model of metabolic syndrome. Comparisons were made between left ventricle, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscles from OZR (n = 16) and aged-matched lean Zucker rats (LZR; n = 16) that were untrained (n = 8) or aerobically trained on a treadmill for 9 wk (n = 8). Cardiac Bcl-2 protein expression levels were approximately 50% lower in the OZR compared with the LZR, with no difference in either of the skeletal muscles. Bax protein expression levels were similar in skeletal muscles of the OZR compared with the LZR. Furthermore, mitochondrial apoptotic signaling was not different in skeletal muscles of OZR and LZR groups. However, there was an approximate sevenfold increase in the Bax protein accumulation in the myocardial mitochondrial-rich protein fraction of the OZR compared with the LZR. Additionally, there was an increase in cytosolic cytochrome c released from the mitochondria, caspase-9 and caspase-3 activity, with a corresponding elevation in DNA fragmentation in the cardiac muscles of the OZR compared with the LZR. Exercise training reduced cardiac Bax protein levels, the mitochondrial localization of Bax, cytosolic cytochrome c, caspase activity, and DNA fragmentation in cardiac muscles of the OZR after exercise, with no change in the skeletal muscles. These data show that mitochondrial apoptosis is elevated in the cardiac but not skeletal muscles of the OZR, but aerobic exercise training was effective in reducing cardiac mitochondrial apoptotic signaling.

Rampersaud, E., B. D. Mitchell, et al. (2008). "Physical activity and the association of common FTO gene variants with body mass index and obesity." Arch Intern Med 168(16): 1791-7.
BACKGROUND: Common FTO (fat mass and obesity associated) gene variants have recently been associated with body mass index (BMI) and obesity in several large studies. The role of lifestyle factors (such as physical activity) in those with an underlying FTO genetic predisposition is unknown. METHODS: To determine if FTO variants are associated with BMI in Old Order Amish (OOA) individuals, and to further determine whether the detrimental associations of FTO gene variants can be lessened by increased physical activity, a total of 704 healthy OOA adults were selected from the Heredity and Phenotype Intervention (HAPI) Heart Study, an investigation of gene x environment interactions in cardiovascular disease, for whom objective quantified physical activity measurements were available and for whom 92 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in FTO were genotyped. RESULTS: Twenty-six FTO SNPs were associated with BMI (P = .04 to <.001), including rs1477196 (P < .001) and rs1861868 (P < .001), 2 SNPs in moderate linkage disequilibrium in the OOA (D' = 0.82; r(2) = 0.36). Stratified analyses of rs1861868 revealed its association with BMI to be restricted entirely to those subjects with low sex- and age-adjusted physical activity scores (P < .001); in contrast, the SNP had no effect on those with above-average physical activity scores (P = .29), with the genotype x physical activity interaction achieving statistical significance (P = .01). Similar evidence for interaction was also obtained for rs1477196. CONCLUSIONS: Our results strongly suggest that the increased risk of obesity owing to genetic susceptibility by FTO variants can be blunted through physical activity. These findings emphasize the important role of physical activity in public health efforts to combat obesity, particularly in genetically susceptible individuals.

Roth, S. M. (2008). "Perspective on the future use of genomics in exercise prescription." J Appl Physiol 104(4): 1243-5.

Scott, R. A., N. Fuku, et al. (2009). "Mitochondrial haplogroups associated with elite Kenyan athlete status." Med Sci Sports Exerc 41(1): 123-8.
The maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has enabled construction of detailed phylogenies. Analysis of key polymorphisms from these phylogenies allows mtDNA to be assigned to haplogroups, which have been associated with elite endurance performance. PURPOSE: To compare the frequencies of mtDNA haplogroups found in elite Kenyan athletes with those in the general Kenyan population. METHODS: DNA samples were obtained from 221 national level Kenyan athletes (N), 70 international Kenyan athletes (I), and 85 members of the general Kenyan population (C). mtDNA haplogroups were classified by sequencing 340 bases of hypervariable section (HVS I) and by genotyping known restriction sites. Frequency differences between groups were assessed using exact tests of population differentiation. RESULTS: The haplogroup distribution of national (P = 0.023) and international athletes (P < 0.001) differed significantly from controls, with international athletes showing a greater proportion of L0 haplogroups (C = 15%, N = 18%, I = 30%) and lower proportion of L3* haplogroups (C = 48%, N = 36%, I = 26%). Although a high number of international athletes originated from the Rift Valley province relative to controls (C = 20%, N = 65%, I = 81%), subjects from this province did not differ in haplogroup distribution from other regions (P = 0.23). Nor did Bantu subjects differ from Nilotic (P = 0.12) despite an overrepresentation of Nilotic languages among the athletes. CONCLUSIONS: International athletes differed in their mtDNA haplogroup distribution relative to the general Kenyan population. They displayed an excess of L0 haplogroups and a dearth of L3* haplogroups. These findings suggest that mtDNA haplogroups are influential in elite Kenyan distance running, although population stratification cannot be ruled out.

Sesso, H. D., R. S. Paffenbarger, Jr., et al. (2000). "Physical activity and coronary heart disease in men: The Harvard Alumni Health Study." Circulation 102(9): 975-80.
BACKGROUND: The quantity and intensity of physical activity required for the primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) remain unclear. Therefore, we examined the association of the quantity and intensity of physical activity with CHD risk and the impact of other coronary risk factors. METHODS AND RESULTS: We followed 12 516 middle-aged and older men (mean age 57.7 years, range 39 to 88 years) from 1977 through 1993. Physical activity was assessed at baseline in kilojoules per week (4.2 kJ=1 kcal) from blocks walked, flights climbed, and participation in sports or recreational activities. During follow-up, 2,135 cases of incident CHD, including myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, revascularization, and coronary death, occurred. Compared with men expending <2,100 kJ/wk, men expending 2,100 to 4,199, 4,200 to 8,399, 8,400 to 12,599, and >/=12,600 kJ/wk had multivariate relative risks of 0.90, 0.81, 0.80, and 0.81, respectively (P: for trend=0.003). When we considered the independent effects of specific physical activity components, only total sports or recreational activities (P: for trend=0.042) and vigorous activities (P: for trend=0.02) were inversely associated with the risk of CHD. These associations did not differ within subgroups of men defined by coronary risk factors. Finally, among men with multiple coronary risk factors, those expending >/=4,200 kJ/wk had reduced CHD risk compared with men expending <4,200 kJ/wk. CONCLUSIONS: Total physical activity and vigorous activities showed the strongest reductions in CHD risk. Moderate and light activities, which may be less precisely measured, showed nonsignificant inverse associations. The association between physical activity and a reduced risk of CHD also extends to men with multiple coronary risk factors.

Yaowu Hu, Hong Shang, et al. (2009). "Stable isotope dietary analysis of the Tianyuan 1 early modern human." PNAS 106: 10971-10974.
We report here on the isotopic analysis of the diet of one of the oldest modern humans found in Eurasia, the Tianyuan 1 early modern human dating to ≈40,000 calendar years ago from Tianyuan Cave (Tianyuandong) in the Zhoukoudian region of China. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of the human and associated faunal remains indicate a diet high in animal protein, and the high nitrogen isotope values suggest the consumption of freshwater fish. To confirm this inference, we measured the sulfur isotope values of terrestrial and freshwater animals around the Zhoukoudian area and of the Tianyuan 1 human, which also support the interpretation of a substantial portion of the diet from freshwater fish. This analysis provides the direct evidence for the consumption of aquatic resources by early modern humans in China and has implications for early modern human subsistence and demography.