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Adipocytokines and Risk Factors of Lifestyle-Related Disease in Untrained and Rowing-Trained Elderly Men

Chiyoko Usui, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University; Meiko Asaka, Graduate School of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Japan; Kaori Kaneko, Mitsuru Higuchi, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Japan

Rowing involves almost all the muscles in the body, and consists of rhythmical muscle contractions and demands a high aerobic capacity. It has been demonstrated in a previous study (Yoshiga et al. 2002) that rowing is an appropriate type of exercise for the promotion of health. The previous study reported that the indices of risk factors for atherosclerosis in oarsmen were lower than those in sedentary men. On the other hand, it is well known that adiponectin is thought to play an important role in improving insulin resistance and protecting atherosclerosis. However, the relationship between adipocytokines and risk factors of lifestyle-related disease, such as visceral fat area (VF), HOMA-R and atherogenic index (AI), in oarsmen remains unknown.

Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the biochemical parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism and adipocytokines in blood, VF, and VO2peak of elderly men trained for rowing, and results were compared with those obtained in elderly untrained men.

Methods: VF were measured by magnetic resonance imaging in 17 elderly untrained men (UT; age: 65.8 ± 2.6 yrs, BMI: 23.2 ± 3.1 kg/ m2) and 40 elderly rowing-trained men (RT; 66.9 ± 5.7 yrs, 23.6 ± 2.5 kg/ m2). The subjects were divided into 4 groups according to categories of training level and VF; UT-Low VF (VF < 100 cm2; UT-LVF, n = 8); UT-High VF (VF = > 100 cm2; UT-HVF, n = 9); RT-LVF (n = 19); RT-HVF (n = 21). Physical characteristics, body composition, VO2peak, biochemical parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism, and adipocytokines were evaluated. The indices of risk factors for insulin resistance and atherosclerosis were calculated from parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism.

Results: VO2peak was significantly higher in RT than in UT, but no significant difference was observed between LVF and HVF groups. Subjects in HVF had significantly higher concentrations of HbA1c, insulin, HOMA-R and leptin than in LVF. On the other hand, HDL-cholesterol and AI in RT were significantly higher than in UT. Although plasma adiponectin and serum leptin concentrations were significantly different between HVF and LVF, these adipocytokines were not affected by regularly performed rowing exercise in elderly men.

Conclusion: These results suggest that adiponectin, HOMA-R and AI are strongly related to VF, and that AI is also affected by regularly performed rowing exercise in elderly men.


Yoshiga et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2002) 87: 228-232.


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