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Int J Cardiol. 2005 Apr 8;100(1):93-9.

Exercise training modulates cytokines activity in coronary heart disease patients.

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Department of Cardiology, Bnai Zion Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa 31048, Israel.



Physical activity may lower the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) by mitigating inflammation, which plays a key role in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of aerobic exercise training on levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, INF-gamma, and C-reactive protein (CRP), in CAD patients participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program.


Twenty-eight patients, age 64+/-7.1 years, participated in a 12-week aerobic exercise training program at 70-80% of individual maximal heart rate. Training resulted in a significant reduction of all pro-inflammatory cytokines, CRP from 7.5+/-4.2 to 3.9+/-3.5 mg/l, p<0.001, IL-1, 0.33+/-0.23 to 0.51+/-0.12 pg/ml, p=0.014, IL-6, 2.50+/-1.50 to 1.44+/-0.57 pg/ml, p=0.002, INF-gamma, 18.63+/-3.31 to 16.77+/-2.49 pg/ml, p<0.001, as well as a significant increase in the anti-inflammatory, cytokine IL-10, from 1.61+/-1.40 to 2.29+/-2.01 pg/ml, p=0.008. Baseline CRP levels were 36% (p=0.006) higher among diabetes mellitus patients and training was associated with a 40.5% CRP reduction in these patients compared to 19% reduction in non-diabetics, p<0.01. At baseline 72% of patients were in a high risk category (CRP>3 mg/l), 28% in an intermediate (CRP=1-3 mg/l), with none in a low risk category (<1 mg/l). Following exercise training, 11% were in the low risk, 50% in the intermediate and 39% in the high risk category, indicating 46% reduction in the number of subjects in the high risk category.


Aerobic exercise training in CAD patients is an effective mean in inducing reduction in CRP, IL-1, IL-6, INF-gamma levels, and increase in IL-10, thus, possibly improving coronary risk profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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