Your blood can reveal your risk for heart disease

Researcher at CERG, Anja ByeWhen you visit your general practitioner you can get your blood analyzed for cholesterol and triglycerides, to get an idea of your risk for cardiovascular disease. With additional information about BMI, smoking habits and blood pressure, this can be used to calculate your 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease. There are several risk prediction calculators available today that general practitioners can use the before they give advice and prescriptions to their patients. This risk calculators predicts the 10-year risk for dying form cardiovascular disease, and includes information on age, gender, smoking habits, systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol.

Continue reading

New CERG publications – spring 2013

Cardiac Exercise Research Group has been involved in several scientific publications this spring. Some of them have been discussed on the blog, for instance Linn B. Strands article on insomnia and VO2peak (in Norwegian). Through analysis of Helseundersøkelsen i Nord-Trøndelag (HUNT) data she found a modest inverse association of insomnia with VO(2peak) independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors and self-reported physical activity. A dose-response relation for a insomnia symptoms and VO(2peak) was identified, indicating that regular exercise may protect against sleeping problems. The paper was published in Sleep, January 2013.

CERG researcher Anja Bye keeps exploring the exciting field of genetics and exercise
medicine, and in February, her paper “Circulating microRNAs and aerobic fitness–the HUNT study” was published in PLOS ONE. The study aimed to assess whether circulating microRNAs are associated with VO2peak in healthy individuals. Even this sample was extracted from the HUNT population. 720 miRs were measured in serum samples from healthy individuals aged 40-45 years with either high or low VO2peak matched for gender, age and physical activity. It was found that microRNAs named miR-210, miR-21 and miR-222 were increased in healthy subjects with low VO2max. However, when examining the association between these three components and other fitness related variables, as well as traditional CVD risk factors, no significant correlation was identified. This may indicate that these miRs may have a potential as new independent biomarkers of fitness level and future CVD. Something to think of – will a blood sample in some years be able to give you a prediction of your future health?


One of our Brazilian PhD students, Jose Bianco N. Moreira, had his first paper published in Journal of Applied Physiology in April. The title is “High-versus moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training effects on skeletal muscle of infarcted rats”, and describes the effects of two different exercise protocols (high vs. moderate intensity) on skeletal muscle in rats. The rats had undergone either myocardioal infarction or sham surgery, and exercise was performed by treadmill running. High-intensity training was superior to moderate intensity in improving aerobic capacity. Further, cardiac contractile function, measured by echocardiography, was equally improved by the protocols. However, no significant differences between the exercise protocols were detected regarding skeletal muscle adaptations of training. So, even though we have found high intensity training to be beneficial in several other health-related aspects, skeletal muscle does not seem to be affected in the same way.

Further, Tommy Aune Rehn, supervised by CERG researcers Øivind Rognmo and Ulrik Wisløff, published an article in Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal just recently. The article was refered to on the blog a few weeks ago and suggests high-intensity training as a way to improve public health and prevent chronic diseases.

The last publication per today has PhD student Henrik Loe as first author, and can be read online in PLOS ONE. Henrik wrote a blog post about the topic of his PhD work previously – how to find mean standards of fitness based on the HUNT data (in Norwegian). Through assessment of maximal and sub maximal levels of VO2, heart rate, oxygen pulse, and rating of perceived exertion (Borg scale: 6-20) in 1929 men and 1881 women aged 20-90 years during treadmill running, it was possible to say something about expected values for the different age groups. HUNT represents the largest European reference material of objectively measured parameters of aerobic fitness and exercise-physiology in healthy people. This gives an opportunity of forming the basis for an easily accessible, valid and understandable tool for improved training prescription in healthy men and women.

More CERG publications are to come – we will keep you updated both here on the blog and on our webpage. 

Maria Henningsen, CERG