The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in Gerona, Spain, is high for the low myocardial infarction incidence and mortality rates in the province. Physical activity is a protective factor against coronary heart disease. We investigated whether the genetic variants Q and R of the paraoxonase Gln-Arg 192 polymorphism were involved in different responses of lipids to physical activity. Serum triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol concentrations, and the paraoxonase Gln-Arg 192 polymorphism were determined in 262 men randomly selected from a representative population sample in a cross-sectional study conducted in Gerona, Spain. The Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess energy expenditure in leisure time physical activity. No differences were found in lipid levels among tertiles of physical activity distribution in subjects with the QQ genotype. However, R carriers showed a significant decreasing trend in triglyceride levels and in log-triglyceride-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio and a significant increasing trend in HDL-cholesterol concentration with the amount of physical activity. R carriers included in the low tertile of physical activity distribution had HDL-cholesterol levels significantly lower than those of QQ homozygous men in the same physical activity category (1.04 mmol/L vs. 1.22 mmol/L, P = 0.024). R carriers of the higher tertile of physical activity distribution showed the most favorable lipid profile in this genetic group. A statistically-significant interaction between paraoxonase genotypes and physical activity was observed for log triglycerides (P = 0.018), HDL-cholesterol concentration (P = 0.017), and log triglyceride-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0.008). The beneficial association of the amount of physical activity and lipid traits found in men with the R allele suggests that this population subgroup needs to be physically active to achieve a favorable lipoprotein phenotype similar to that observed in QQ homozygous men.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.