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

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-d 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 9h 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·hr-1), glucose (5.49(5.21 to 5.79) vs. 5.05(4.78 to 5.33) mmol·L-1·hr-1), insulin (32.9(25.7 to 42.1) vs. 18.3(14.2 to 23.7) μU·mL-1·hr-1) and interleukin-6 (2.44(1.61 to 3.67) vs. 1.04(0.68 to 1.59) pg·mL-1·hr-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·hr-1) and insulin (21.0(17.0 to 26.0) vs. 28.7(23.2 to 35.4) μU·mL-1·hr-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.