The American journal of cardiology

Effect of physical activity level on biomarkers of inflammation and insulin resistance over 5 years in outpatients with coronary heart disease (from the Heart and Soul Study).

PMID 25173442


Higher levels of physical activity are associated with lower rates of coronary heart disease (CHD). Previous studies have suggested that this is due partly to lower levels of inflammation and insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to determine whether physical activity level was associated with inflammation or insulin resistance during a 5-year period in outpatients with known CHD. A total of 656 participants from the Heart and Soul Study, a prospective cohort study of outpatients with documented CHD, were evaluated. Self-reported physical activity frequency was assessed at baseline and after 5 years of follow-up. Participants were classified as low versus high activity at each visit, yielding 4 physical activity groups: stable low activity, decreasing activity (high at baseline to low at year 5), increasing activity (low at baseline to high at year 5), and stable high activity. Year 5 markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6, and fibrinogen) and insulin resistance (insulin, glucose, and glycated hemoglobin) were compared across the 4 activity groups. After 5 years of follow-up, higher activity was associated with lower mean levels of all biomarkers. In the fully adjusted regression models, CRP, interleukin-6, and glucose remained independently associated with physical activity frequency (log CRP, p for trend across activity groups = 0.03; log interleukin-6, p for trend = 0.01; log glucose, p for trend = 0.003). Subjects with stable high activity typically had the lowest levels of biomarkers. In conclusion, in this novel population of outpatients with known CHD followed for 5 years, higher physical activity frequency was independently associated with lower levels of CRP, interleukin-6, and glucose.