Document Type



The aim of the HERITAGE Family Study was to investigate individual differences in response to a standardized endurance exercise program, the role of familial aggregation, and the genetics of response levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors. Here we summarize the findings and their potential implications for cardiometabolic health and cardiorespiratory fitness. It begins with overviews of background and planning, recruitment, testing and exercise program protocol, quality control measures, and other relevant organizational issues. A summary of findings is then provided on cardiorespiratory fitness, exercise hemodynamics, insulin and glucose metabolism, lipid and lipoprotein profiles, adiposity and abdominal visceral fat, blood levels of steroids and other hormones, markers of oxidative stress, skeletal muscle morphology and metabolic indicators, and resting metabolic rate. These summaries document the extent of the individual differences in response to a standardized and fully monitored endurance exercise program and document the importance of familial aggregation and heritability level for exercise response traits. Findings from genomic markers, muscle gene expression studies, and proteomic and metabolomics explorations are reviewed, along with lessons learned from a bioinformatics-driven analysis pipeline. The new opportunities being pursued in integrative -omics and physiology have extended considerably the expected life of HERITAGE and are being discussed in relation to the original conceptual model of the study.

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Sports Medicine.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Attribution-Non Commerical-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

APA Citation

SARZYNSKI, M. A., RICE, T. K., DESPRÉS, J.-P., PÉRUSSE, L., TREMBLAY, A., STANFORTH, P. R., TCHERNOF, A., BARBER, J. L., FALCIANI, F., CLISH, C., ROBBINS, J. M., GHOSH, S., GERSZTEN, R. E., LEON, A. S., SKINNER, J. S., RAO, D. C., & BOUCHARD, C. (2022). The Heritage Family Study: A review of the effects of exercise training on cardiometabolic health, with insights into molecular transducers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 54(5S).