We evaluated effects of age and rowing on concentrations of lipids and lipoprotein cholesterols in the blood. Maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O 2max), and concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured in 17 oarsmen [mean (SD)] [age 64 (4) years, body mass 69 (6) kg] and in sedentary men [age 65 (3) years, body mass 70 (7) kg] who were matched on the basis of body size. Also the variables were obtained from young oarsmen [age 22 (2) years, body mass 70 (4) kg] and young sedentary men [age 22 (3) years, body mass 69 (7) kg]. The percentage body fat of the older oarsmen was lower than that of the older sedentary men [18 (4)% compared to 23 (4)%, P < 0.05], but it was similar to that of the young sedentary men [17 (4)%]. Although older oarsmen possessed a lower V̇O2max than the young oarsmen [3.0 (0.4) l·min-1 compared to 4.1 (0.3) l·min-1, P < 0.01], they showed a V̇O2max similar to that of the young sedentary men [3.1 (0.5) l·min-1] but a higher value than obtained from the older sedentary men [2.2 (0.3) l·min-1, P < 0.05]. Although the indices of risk factors for coronary artery disease in the older oarsmen were higher than those in the young oarsmen [LDL-C/ HDL-C 1.7 (0.2) compared to 1.3 (0.4), TC/HDL-C 3.1 (0.2) compared to 2.6(0.4), P < 0.05], they were lower than those in both the older [2.1 (0.3), 3.6 (0.3), P < 0.05] and the young sedentary men [2.1 (0.4), 3.5 (0.4), P < 0.05]. The results suggest that rowing is an appropriate type of exercise for the promotion of health.
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