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Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Diseases Epidemiology and Primary Preventive and Therapeutic Targets

  • Martin BurtscherEmail author
  • Erich Gnaiger
Chapter

Abstract

Following the publication of the landmark study of Morris and colleagues, a plethora of evidences confirmed the inverse and independent relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular as well as overall mortality. It has been established that regular physical activity elicits its beneficial health effects by reducing especially those cardiovascular risk factors which are associated with metabolic disorders, e.g., hyperlipidemia, glucose intolerance, or systemic hypertension, but physical activity has also been shown directly to inhibit the development of atherosclerosis and associated cardiovascular diseases, e.g., by preventing or correcting endothelial dysfunction or due to cardiovascular remodeling. Nowadays, fascinating experimental studies more and more discover cellular and molecular mechanisms as primary risk factors and explain how physical activity fights the development of cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress, low NO bioavailability, and inflammation are considered as primary targets for modification of risk factors by regular exercise training. All these factors are closely interrelated and may play important roles in the development of atherosclerosis.

Keywords

Exercise Training Risk factors Disease Cardiovascular Metabolism Atherosclerosis Oxidative stress Inflammation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This chapter is a contribution to K-Regio project MitoCom Tyrol, funded by the Tyrolian Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport Science, Medical SectionUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Daniel Swarovski Research LaboratoryMedical University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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