Effects of High-Intensity Exercise Training in Previously Sedentary Adults

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Maximal oxygen uptake increased by 18% and there was a reduction in left ventricular stiffness in the high-intensity exercise training group.
Maximal oxygen uptake increased by 18% and there was a reduction in left ventricular stiffness in the high-intensity exercise training group.

HealthDay News — Two years of high-intensity exercise training (ExT) is associated with improved maximal oxygen uptake and reduced cardiac stiffness in previously sedentary healthy middle-aged adults, according to a study published in Circulation.

Erin J. Howden, PhD, from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, and colleagues randomized 61 healthy, sedentary, middle-aged participants to 2 years of ExT or attention control (control); 53 participants completed the study. Left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure-volume relationships (EDPVR) and Frank-Starling curves were defined using right heart catheterization and 3-dimensional echocardiography. Changes in fitness were quantified using maximal oxygen uptake.

The researchers found that there was 88%±11% adherence to prescribed exercise sessions. Maximal oxygen uptake increased by 18% (ExT: 34.4±6.4; control: 28.7±5.4; P <.001), while there was a reduction in LV stiffness in the ExT group (right/downward shift in the EDPVR: ExT: pre- to post-stiffness constant: 0.072±0.037 to 0.051±0.0268; P <.0018) but not in controls (pre- to post-stiffness constant: 0.0635±0.026 to 0.062±0.031; P =.83). LV end-diastolic volume was increased by exercise (P <.001), while there was no change in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, resulting in greater stroke volume for any given filling pressure (P =.007).

"In previously sedentary healthy middle-age adults, two years of exercise training improved maximal oxygen uptake and decreased cardiac stiffness," the authors wrote.

Reference

Howden EJ, Sarma S, Lawley JS, et al. Reversing the cardiac effects of sedentary aging in middle age- a randomized controlled trial: implications for heart failure prevention [published online January 8, 2018] Circulation. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.030617

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