Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Differences between Special Olympians and Non-Special Olympians

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 University of Minnesota
  • 2 University of Utah
  • 3 Oregon State University
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The purpose of the study is to determine whether cardiovascular disease risk factor differences exist between Active Special Olympians, Inactive Non-Special Olympians, and Active Non-Special Olympians. Resting blood pressure, total and abdominal body fat, fasting cholesterol profiles, and fasting insulin were measured in 145 (72 women, 73 men) adults with mild mental retardation. Active Special Olympians (n = 45) possessed lower diastolic blood pressures, body fat percentages, abdominal fat, triglycerides, and insulin than Inactive Non-Special Olympians (n = 38) and possessed lower body fat percentages than Active Non-Special Olympians (n = 62). Active Non-Special Olympians possessed lower triglycerides and insulin than Inactive Non-Special Olympians. Future prospective trials are needed to determine whether Special Olympics participation may be one effective component of community-based physical activity programs aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

Christopher C. Draheim is with the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota, 1900 University Ave, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail: Daniel P. Williams is with the Exercise and Sport Science Department at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. Jeffrey A. McCubbin is with the College of Health and Human Science at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.