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Available online 20 May 2022
Association of physical activity with high-density lipoprotein functionality in a population-based cohort: the REGICOR study
Asociación de la actividad física con la funcionalidad de las lipoproteínas de alta densidad en una cohorte de base poblacional: el estudio REGICOR
Raúl Viadasa,b, Andrea Tolobaa, Isabel Fernándeza, Sergi Sayols-Baixerasa,c,d, Álvaro Hernáeza,e,f,g, Helmut Schroedera,h, Irene R. Déganoa,d,i, Camille Lassalea,d, Jaume Marrugata,d, Roberto Elosuaa,d,i,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
a Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain
b Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
c Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Epidemiology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
d Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares (CIBERCV), Spain
e Centre for Fertility and Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
f Centro de Investigación en Red de Obesidad y Nutritición (CIBEROBN), Spain
g Facultat de Ciènces de la Salut Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain
h Centro de Investigación en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
i Facultat de Medicina, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, Vic, Barcelona, Spain
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Figures (2)
Tables (3)
Table 1. Characteristics of the participants at the follow-up visit across total leisure time physical activity practice quartiles (METs x min/day)
Table 2. Spearman correlation (rho coefficient, above the diagonal; P value, below the diagonal) between variables of interest at the follow-up visit
Table 3. Relationship between past and current physical activity (total and by intensity), and cholesterol efflux capacity and HDL antioxidant capacity, adjusted for confounding variables
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Additional material (1)
Introduction and objectives

To determine the dose-response association between current and past leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), total and at different intensities, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) functionality parameters.


Study participants (n=642) were randomly drawn from a large population-based survey. Mean age of the participants was 63.2 years and 51.1% were women. The analysis included data from a baseline and a follow-up visit (median follow-up, 4 years). LTPA was assessed using validated questionnaires at both visits. Two main HDL functions were assessed: cholesterol efflux capacity and HDL antioxidant capacity, at the follow-up visit. Linear regression and linear additive models were used to assess the linear and nonlinear association between LTPA and HDL functionality.


Total LTPA at follow-up showed an inverse and linear relationship between 0 and 400 METs x min/d with HDL antioxidant capacity (regression coefficient [beta]: −0.022; 95%CI, −0.030, −0.013), with a plateau above this threshold. The results were similar for moderate (beta: −0.028; 95%CI, −0.049, −0.007) and vigorous (beta: −0.025; 95%CI, −0.043, −0.007), but not for light-intensity LTPA. LTPA at follow-up was not associated with cholesterol efflux capacity. Baseline LTPA was not associated with any of the HDL functionality parameters analyzed.


Current moderate and vigorous LTPA showed a nonlinear association with higher HDL antioxidant capacity. Maximal benefit was observed with low-intermediate doses of total LTPA (up to 400 METs x min/d). Our results agree with current recommendations for moderate-vigorous LTPA practice and suggest an association between PA and HDL functionality in the general population.

Physical activity
HDL functionality
Introducción y objetivos

Determinar la relación dosis-respuesta entre la actividad física en el tiempo libre (AFTL) actual y pasada, total y según su intensidad, y la funcionalidad de las lipoproteínas de alta densidad (HDL).


Se seleccionó a 642 participantes de un estudio poblacional: la edad media era de 63,2 años y el 51,1% eran mujeres. Se incluyeron datos de la visita inicial y de un seguimiento a 4 años. La AFTL se evaluó mediante cuestionarios validados. Se determinó la capacidad de eflujo de colesterol y antioxidante en el seguimiento. Se utilizaron modelos de regresión lineal y aditivos para evaluar la relación dosis-respuesta.


Se observó una relación inversa y lineal entre la AFTL total actual (entre 0-400 MET x min/día) y la capacidad antioxidante de HDL (coeficiente de regresión [beta]: -0,022; IC95%, -0,030; -0,013), con una meseta por encima de este umbral. Se observaron resultados similares para la AFTL de intensidad moderada (beta: -0,028; IC95%, -0,049; -0,007) y vigorosa (beta: -0,025; IC95%, -0,043; -0,007), pero no para AFTL de intensidad ligera. La AFTL en el seguimiento no se asoció con la capacidad de eflujo de colesterol. La AFTL basal no se asoció con la funcionalidad de HDL.


La AFTL de intensidad moderada-vigorosa actual se asocia de forma no lineal con una mayor capacidad antioxidante de las partículas de HDL. Se observa un beneficio máximo con dosis intermedias-bajas de AFTL (0-400 MET x min/día). Nuestros resultados concuerdan con las recomendaciones de práctica de AFTL y sugieren una asociación con la funcionalidad de HDL.

Palabras clave:
Actividad física
Funcionalidad HDL


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