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J Hum Hypertens. 2013 May;27(5):335-9. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2012.38. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Aerobic training-induced improvements in arterial stiffness are not sustained in older adults with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

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


There is a well-established relationship between increased arterial stiffness and cardiovascular mortality. We examined whether a long-term aerobic exercise intervention (6 months) would increase arterial compliance in older adults with hypertension complicated by Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and hyperlipidemia. A total of 52 older adults (mean age 69.3±0.6 years, 30 males and 22 females) with diet/oral hypoglycemic-controlled T2DM, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were recruited. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an aerobic group (6 months vigorous aerobic exercise, AT group) and a non-aerobic group (6 months of no aerobic exercise, NA group). Arterial stiffness was measured as pulse-wave velocity (PWV) using the Complior device. Aerobic training decreased arterial stiffness as measured by both radial (P=0.001, 2-way analysis of variance with repeated measures) and femoral (P=0.002) PWV. This was due to a decrease in arterial stiffness in the AT group after 3 months of training, which was not maintained after 6-month training for either radial (P=0.707) or femoral (P=0.680) PWV. Our findings indicate that in older adults with multiple cardiovascular risk factors, short-term improvements in arterial stiffness became attenuated over the long term.

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