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Keywords:

  • Atherosclerosis;
  • cholesterol distribution;
  • LDL size;
  • obesity.

Abstract

Childhood obesity is associated with a pro-atherogenic phenotype contributing to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This single-arm pilot study examined the effects of a lifestyle intervention on lipoprotein particle size and cholesterol distribution in obese Latino adolescents. Fifteen obese Latino adolescents (15.0 ± 1.0 years) completed a 12-week nutrition education and exercise intervention. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle size and distribution of cholesterol in lipoprotein subclasses were determined via polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The intervention resulted in increases in mean LDL particle size (269.3 ± 3.4 to 271.6 ± 2.9 Å, P = 0.0003) and cholesterol in large high-density lipoprotein (HDL) subfractions (22.4 ± 11.2 to 26.8 ± 10.6% area, P = 0.007) along with decreases of cholesterol in small LDL (1.6 ± 2.0 to 0.6 ± 1.2% area, P < 0.01) and HDL subfractions (23.2 ± 9.4 to 19.0 ± 6.7% area, P = 0.05). These improvements were observed independent of changes in weight (90.7 ± 26.2 to 89.9 ± 27.8 kg, P > 0.05) and suggest that lifestyle modification in obese youth may reduce cardiovascular risk by shifting lipoprotein particle size and cholesterol distribution to a less atherogenic phenotype.