medwireNews: A 1-year exercise intervention combining high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with resistance training may improve measures of cardiovascular risk among people with type 2 diabetes, suggests a secondary analysis of the D2FIT trial.
Previously reported findings from this trial – in which 80 participants were randomly assigned to take part in an intervention combining either HIIT or moderate continuous training (MCT) plus resistance training, or a control intervention involving standard advice on physical activity – showed no impact of HIIT plus resistance training on body composition or glycemic control, say Luís Sardinha (Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal) and co-investigators.
Nevertheless, the present analysis demonstrated that both the HIIT and MCT programs were associated with a reduction in carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), and the HIIT intervention was also associated with improvement in indices of peripheral arterial stiffness, they report in Cardiovascular Diabetology.
Specifically, individuals in the HIIT group experienced a reduction in mean cIMT from 733.6 mm at baseline to 724.1 mm at the 1-year follow-up, while those in the MCT group had a reduction from 737.9 mm to 712.3 mm. Conversely, average cIMT increased from 714.9 mm to 751.2 mm over the 1-year period among people in the control group.
“The fact that a 1-year intervention promoted a significant reduction in cIMT is important because the carotid artery is highly susceptible to the development of atherosclerosis and is an important marker for identifying patients who are at higher risk of developing micro- and macrovascular complications,” write Sardinha and colleagues.
The team found that the arterial stiffness indices carotid to distal pulse wave velocity (CD PWV) and carotid radial pulse wave velocity (CR PWV) both decreased in the HIIT group, from 9.7 m/s and 9.5 m/s, respectively, at baseline, to a corresponding 8.6 m/s and 8.3 m/s at the 1-year follow-up. However, these measures remained similar or increased over the study period among individuals in the MCT and control groups.
These findings highlight “HIIT as a promising long-term exercise strategy to delay and counter the changes in arterial stiffness indices,” write the researchers, adding that such indices are “typically compromised in ageing and in type 2 diabetes, with likely implications on the progression of [cardiovascular disease].”
They conclude that the D2FIT results “may have future implications for exercise interventions in patients with type 2 diabetes with goals of targeting and attenuating the micro- and macrovascular changes inherent to this disease.”
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