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Female marathoners have less plaque than male counterparts, sedentary women
Date:11/14/2011

his colleagues identified 28 lesions in 14 of the sedentary females and seven lesions in five of the marathoners. Overall, the mean plaque volume for the control group versus the marathon group was 169.8 versus 95.8, and the average percent stenosis was 28 versus 10.3, respectively.

Unlike in the male counterparts, female marathoners had statistically significant fewer lesions compared with the sedentary group. However, on a per lesion basis, plaque volume and percent stenosis were not significantly different between each group, suggesting to the researchers that when plaque is present, both groups exhibited similar plaque characteristics.

"These findings show a positive physical result for women choosing to be competitive runners because the marathoners had lower heart rates, lower blood pressure, better cholesterol profiles and lower incidence of diabetes," Schwartz said. "This was an opposite finding than in the men."

The researchers are currently building statistical models in hopes of understanding whether the fact the studied male athletes were so much older than the studied female athletes is causing this disparity. "We are now seeking to determine whether there is truly a gender difference, or was it confounded by age," Schwartz explained.


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Contact: Kristin Wincek
kwincek@mhif.org
612-863-0249
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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