Background: Overweight and obese older adults have a high risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise is a valuable strategy to improve vascular health, but the effects of aerobic exercise on vascular endothelial function in obese and overweight older adults remain controversial. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effects of aerobic exercise on vascular function in obese and overweight older adults with or without comorbidity.
Methods: A systematic literature search for related studies published in English was conducted between January 1989 and October 30, 2022, in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. A random effects model was chosen for meta-analysis, which calculated the effect sizes of control and intervention groups after exercise intervention using standardized mean differences (SMDs) corrected for Hedges' g bias and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).
Results: Twenty-six studies containing 1418 participants were included in the study. After excluding three studies contributing to higher heterogeneity by sensitivity analysis, there are small effects of regular aerobic exercise on vascular function of obese and overweight older adults, including flow-mediated dilation (FMD) [SMD = 0.21, 95% CI (0.02, 0.41), z = 2.16, df = 19, I2 = 52.2%, P = 0.031] and pulse wave velocity (PWV) [SMD = −0.24, 95% CI (−0.46, −0.02), z = 2.17, df = 10, I2 = 8.6%, P = 0.030], and no significant effect was observed on augmentation index (Aix). Subgroup analysis showed small effects of regular aerobic exercise on FMD [SMD = 0.37, 95% CI (0.13, 0.61), z = 3.05, df = 9, I2 = 52.6%, P = 0.002] in the overweight not obese subgroup (25 = BMI <30 kg/m2), but no significant effect on the obese subgroup (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Regular aerobic exercise for more than 24 weeks improved FMD by small effect sizes [SMD = 0.48, 95% CI (0.04, 0.93), z = 2.12, df = 5, I2 = 56.4%, P = 0.034] and for more than three times per week improved FMD by moderate effect sizes [SMD = 0.55, 95% CI (0.12, 0.98), z = 2.50, df = 3, I2 = 31.1%, P = 0.012] in obese and overweight older adults with or without CVD.
Conclusion: In obese and overweight older adults with or without comorbidity, regular aerobic exercise for more than 24 weeks improved FMD by small effect sizes and exercise for more than three times per week improved FMD by moderate effect sizes and regular aerobic exercise reduced PWV by small effect sizes and had no influence on Aix. Taken together, it was recommended that obese and overweight older adults should adhere to regular aerobic exercise, training at least 3 times per week for better results. Copyright © 2023 The Society of Chinese Scholars on Exercise Physiology and Fitness. Published by Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
CitationLi, P., Liu, Z., Wan, K., Wang, K., Zheng, C., & Huang, J. (2023). Effects of regular aerobic exercise on vascular function in overweight or obese older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 21(4), 313-325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesf.2023.06.002
- Aerobic exercise
- Older adults
- Vascular function
- PG student publication