Although endurance exercise and supplemental estrogen have both been shown to improve serum lipid cardiac risk profiles in postmenopausal women, data regarding a possible synergistic influence are scarce and inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such a synergistic influence could be demonstrated. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), HDL2-C, HDL3-C, LDL-C, and triglycerides (TG) were obtained from postmenopausal women (N = 45) in each of 4 groups: currently exercising and taking estrogen replacement, exercising and not taking estrogen, sedentary and taking estrogen, and sedentary and not taking estrogen. HDL-C was on average 21% higher (p < .05) and the HDL-C:LDL-C ratio on average 45% higher (p < .05) in the exercise-plus-estrogen group than in any of the other 3 groups. It was concluded that the combination of endurance exercise and estrogen replacement might be associated with better lipid coronary risk profiles in postmenopausal women than either intervention alone.
Green, Weise, and Crouse are with the Nelum Steed Physiology Lab, Department of Health and Kinesiology, at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4243. Grandjean is with the Department of Health and Human Performance at Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5323. Rohack is with the Scott & White Medical Group, College Station, TX 77840.