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Effect of exercise on development of atherosclerosis in swine

  • R.P. Link
    Affiliations
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Urbana, Ill. U.S.A.
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  • W.M. Pedersoli
    Affiliations
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Urbana, Ill. U.S.A.
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  • A.H. Safanie
    Affiliations
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Urbana, Ill. U.S.A.
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      Abstract

      Two groups of female and 2 groups of male miniature pigs (11 per group) were used to study the effect of exercise on the development of atherosclerosis. The pigs were maintained on a diet low in cholesterol and fat until 16 months of age at which time this study was initiated. One pig was randomly selected from each group and necropsied immediately before the study was initiated. The cardiovascular systems were examined for atherosclerosis. None was found.
      One group of each sex was trained and conditioned for sustained exercise on a treadmill. When the animals were reasonably well conditioned after 3 weeks of exercise all groups were fed an atherogenic diet. The trial was of 22 months duration.
      Feeding the atherogenic ration increased the blood lipids in all groups. However, the differences in the serum cholesterol, triglycerides, total lipids and plasma fibrinogen between the groups of each sex were not significant. Differences between males and females were significant. There were significant differences in the extent of atherosclerosis between the exercised and the non-exercised pigs. Weight of the hearts in relation to body weight was slightly greater in the exercised than in the non-exercised pigs but the differences were not significant. This may have been due partly to the greater amount of fat on hearts from non-exercised pigs. Coronary arteries were also slightly larger in the non-exercised pigs. The exercised pigs consumed more of the diet, gained less weight, had less atherosclerosis, and less total body fat than the non-exercised pigs.

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