Document Detail

Vascular and metabolic effects of 12 days intensive walking to Santiago de Compostela.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20598693     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
OBJECTIVE: Physical exercise has multiple beneficial health effects. Yearly, over five million persons walk a pilgrimage in various parts of the World, and this number is increasing. Here we report the effects on vascular function and cardiovascular risk factors of a 12-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
METHODS: Twenty-nine healthy male and female subjects between 40 and 70 years were included in the intervention group. The intervention consisted of the last 280 km of the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. Twenty-nine control subjects were age- and gender-matched. Measures of endothelial function, vascular stiffness, autonomic function, and cardiovascular risk factors were measured 2 months and 2 weeks before the pilgrimage and 2 weeks and 2 months afterwards. During the pilgrimage cardiovascular risk factors, including weight, lipids, glucose and blood pressure were measured every other day.
RESULTS: The mean daily walking distance during the pilgrimage was 23.42±0.80 km taking 5.39±0.36 h/day. From start to end, HDL-cholesterol increased (0.20±0.30 mmol/L; +15%), while LDL-cholesterol (-0.6±0.6 mmol/L; -17%) and weight (-1.4±1.8 kg; -2%) decreased. After an initial rise, blood pressure came back to baseline. Two months after the pilgrimage a 2.0 kg weight loss persisted compared to the controls. There was no change in any vascular function parameter compared to the controls.
CONCLUSION: Walking a pilgrimage immediately influences major cardiovascular risk factors as a consequence of (strenuous) exercise and, likely, dietary changes. Two months after the pilgrimage these changes came back to baseline, except for weight loss. There was no effect on vascular function.
Remy H H Bemelmans; Blai Coll; Daniel R Faber; Jan Westerink; Paulus P Blommaert; Wilko Spiering; Frank L J Visseren
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-06-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Atherosclerosis     Volume:  212     ISSN:  1879-1484     ISO Abbreviation:  Atherosclerosis     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0242543     Medline TA:  Atherosclerosis     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  621-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Vascular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, F.02.126, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands.
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