The effect of prior walking on coronary heart disease risk markers in South Asian and European men

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Saravana Pillai Arjunan
  • Kevin Deighton
  • Nicolette C. Bishop
  • James King
  • Alvaro Reischak-Oliveira
  • Alice Rogan
  • Matthew Sedgwick
  • Alice E. Thackray
  • David Webb
  • David J. Stensel
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2641-2651
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number12
Early online date5 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2015

Purpose: Heart disease risk is elevated in South Asians possibly due to impaired postprandial metabolism. Running has been shown to induce greater reductions in postprandial lipaemia in South Asian than European men, but the effect of walking in South Asians is unknown. Methods: Fifteen South Asian and 14 white European men aged 19–30 years completed two, 2-day trials in a randomised crossover design. On day 1, participants rested (control) or walked for 60 min at approximately 50 % maximum oxygen uptake (exercise). On day 2, participants rested and consumed two high-fat meals over a 9-h period during which 14 venous blood samples were collected. Results: South Asians exhibited higher postprandial triacylglycerol [geometric mean (95 % confidence interval) 2.29 (1.82 to 2.89) vs. 1.54 (1.21 to 1.96) mmol L−1 h−1], glucose [5.49 (5.21 to 5.79) vs. 5.05 (4.78 to 5.33) mmol L−1 h−1], insulin [32.9 (25.7 to 42.1) vs. 18.3 (14.2 to 23.7) µU mL−1 h−1] and interleukin-6 [2.44 (1.61 to 3.67) vs. 1.04 (0.68 to 1.59) pg mL−1 h−1] than Europeans (all ES ≥ 0.72, P ≤ 0.03). Between-group differences in triacylglycerol, glucose and insulin were not significant after controlling for age and percentage body fat. Walking reduced postprandial triacylglycerol [1.79 (1.52 to 2.12) vs. 1.97 (1.67 to 2.33) mmol L−1 h−1] and insulin [21.0 (17.0 to 26.0) vs. 28.7 (23.2 to 35.4) µU mL−1 h−1] (all ES ≥ 0.23. P ≤ 0.01), but group differences were not significant. Conclusions: Healthy South Asians exhibited impaired postprandial metabolism compared with white Europeans, but these differences were diminished after controlling for potential confounders. The small-moderate reduction in postprandial triacylglycerol and insulin after brisk walking was not different between the ethnicities.

    Research areas

  • Cardiovascular disease, Exercise, Inflammation, Physical activity, Postprandial lipaemia


  • Pillai_et_al_2016

    Rights statement: © 2015, Springer Verlag. This is an author produced version of a paper published in European Journal of Applied Physiology. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final publication is available at Springer via 10.1007/s00421-015-3269-7

    Accepted author manuscript, 577 KB, PDF document

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External organisations

  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Loughborough University
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • University of Birmingham
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

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