Comparison of total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in male recreational swimmers and sedentary controls

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC and HDL-C) and TC/HDL-C ratio were compared in 30 adult male recreational swimmers and 21 sedentary controls. Percentage of body fat, number of cigarettes smoked daily, and daily alcohol consumption were assessed for both groups. Maximum workout heartrate, weekly swim duration and weekly swim distance of the swimmers were also measured. Maximum workout heartrate (mean ± S. D. ) was 140 ± 24 beats per minute . Mean weekly swim duration was 142 ± 84 minutes, and mean weekly swim distance was 5317 ± 3217 yards. Swimmers and controls were nonsignificantly different in age, number of cigarettes smoked daily, and percent body fat. In this sample, the swimmers consumed significantly higher levels of alcohol than the non-swimmers. TC and HDL-C concentrations of swimmers were not significantly different than controls, (204 vs 199 mg/dl, and 48 vs 47 mg/dl, respectively). TC/HDL-C ratio of swimmers was 4.69, while that of controls was 4.65. This study showed that adult male recreational swimmers who train at low intensity do not differ significantly in total and HDL-C or TC/HDL-C ratio from male sedentary controls.