Exercise and coronary heart disease risk markers in south Asian and European men

Saravana Pillai Arjunan, Nicolette Claire Bishop, Alvaro Reischak-Oliveira, David John Stensel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: South Asians have a higher-than-average risk of CHD. The reasons for this are unclear, but physical inactivity and/or poor responsiveness to exercise may play a role. This study compared the effect of prior exercise on postprandial triacylglycerol (TAG), glucose, insulin, interleukin-6, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 concentrations in South Asian and European men. METHODS: Ten healthy South Asian men (i.e., nine Indian men and one Pakistani man) and 10 healthy European men age 20 to 28 yr completed two 2-d trials (exercise and control) in a randomized crossover design. On the afternoon of day 1 of the exercise trial, participants ran on a treadmill for 60 min at approximately 70% of maximal oxygen uptake. Participants rested on day 1 of the control trial. On day 2 of both trials, participants rested and consumed high-fat (57% of energy content) test meals for breakfast (0 h) and lunch (4 h). Fourteen venous blood samples were collected from a cannula between 0 and 9 h for metabolic measurements. RESULTS: Three-way ANOVA identified higher (P < 0.05) postprandial TAG and insulin concentrations in South Asian versus European men. Exercise lowered postprandial TAG and interleukin-6 and elevated soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 concentrations. An interaction effect indicated a greater decrease (22% vs 10%) in TAG area under the concentration versus time curve after exercise in South Asian than in European men. CONCLUSIONS: Postprandial TAG and insulin responses to high-fat meals were elevated in these South Asian men, but acute exercise was equally, if not more, effective for reducing postprandial lipemia in South Asian than in European men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1268
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • exercise
  • inflammation
  • physical activity
  • postprandial lipemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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