The effect of aerobic versus strength-based training on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in older adults
Increased levels of inflammatory markers, namely, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), have been associated with several chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Forty-five women and men aged >64 years participated in the study and were randomly assigned to two exercise intervention groups and a non-exercising control group. The participants assigned to the exercising groups followed a 16-week exercise protocol based either on aerobic training (AT) or strength training (ST) followed by a further 16 weeks off-training period. The control group (C) remained sedentary throughout the study. Evaluation of body mass, BMI, waist circumference, aerobic endurance, lower-body strength, upper-body strength, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and hs-CRP were performed at baseline, after 16 weeks (post-training for the exercise groups) and at 32 weeks (follow-up). Both, AT and ST groups significantly increased functional fitness at the end of the exercise programs when compared to baseline values. hs-CRP concentrations were maintained throughout the study for the C group, while decreasing 10% at 16 weeks and 51% at 32 weeks for the AT group. In the ST group the hs-CRP concentrations decreased by 11 and 39% at 16 and 32 weeks, respectively. Decreases in hs-CRP concentrations were statistically significant for the AT and ST groups at the 32-week evaluation when compared to baseline. Reduction in hs-CRP concentrations seemed to be associated with strength gains and adiposity loss.