Walking and Non-HDL-C in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials


  • George A. Kelley DA,

  • Kristi S. Kelley MEd,

  • Zung Vu Tran PhD

George A. Kelley, DA, Professor and Director, Meta- Analytic Research Group, School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, P.O. Box 9190, Room 2350-A, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506–9190
E-mail: gkelley@hsc.wvu.edu


An elevated level of non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to use the meta-analytic approach to examine the effects of walking on non-HDL-C in adults. Twenty-two randomized controlled trials representing 30 outcomes from 948 subjects (573 exercise, 375 control) met our inclusion criteria. Across all designs and categories, random effects modeling resulted in a significantly greater decrease in the walking group when compared with the control group of approximately 4% for non-HDL-C (± standard error of the mean, −5.6±1.8 mg/dL, 95% confidence interval, −8.8 to −2.4 mg/dL). Meta-regression showed a statistically significant association between changes in non-HDL-C and the year of publication, with greater reductions associated with more recent publication year (R2=0.23, p=0.005). The results of this meta-analytic review suggest that walking reduces non-HDL-C in adult humans.