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Diabetes Care. 2009 Aug;32(8):1531-5. doi: 10.2337/dc09-0149. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Short-term aerobic exercise reduces arterial stiffness in older adults with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.

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  • 1VITALiTY (Vancouver Initiative to Add Life to Years) Research Laboratory, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


OBJECTIVE The relationship between increased arterial stiffness and cardiovascular mortality is well established in type 2 diabetes. We examined whether aerobic exercise could reduce arterial stiffness in older adults with type 2 diabetes complicated by comorbid hypertension and hyperlipidemia. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 36 older adults (mean age 71.4 +/- 0.7 years) with diet-controlled or oral hypoglycemic-controlled type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia were recruited. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an aerobic group (3 months vigorous aerobic exercise) and a nonaerobic group (no aerobic exercise). Exercise sessions were supervised by a certified exercise trainer three times per week, and a combination of cycle ergometers and treadmills was used. Arterial stiffness was measured using the Complior device. RESULTS When the two groups were compared, aerobic training resulted in a decrease in measures of both radial (-20.7 +/- 6.3 vs. +8.5 +/- 6.6%, P = 0.005) and femoral (-13.9 +/- 6.7 vs. +4.4 +/- 3.3%, P = 0.015) pulse-wave velocity despite the fact that aerobic fitness as assessed by Vo(2max) did not demonstrate an improvement with training (P = 0.026). CONCLUSIONS Our findings indicate that a relatively short aerobic exercise intervention in older adults can reduce multifactorial arterial stiffness (type 2 diabetes, aging, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia).

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