Short-term aerobic exercise improves arterial stiffness in type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2004 Aug;65(2):85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2003.12.005.


Objective: To investigate whether: (1) aerobic exercise decreases arterial stiffness and (2) reduction in arterial stiffness is associated with improvement in insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Common carotid and femoral arterial stiffness was ultrasonographically evaluated using stiffness index beta in 23 type 2 diabetic subjects before and after a 3-week exercise protocol including ergometer and walking. Insulin sensitivity (Clamp-IR) was assessed using euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp before and after the protocol. Arterial stiffness was also examined in steady hyperinsulinemic state during clamp.

Results: Anthropometrical factors did not change following exercise. Clamp-IR tended to increase after exercise protocol (P = 0.061). Stiffness index beta decreased following exercise in both common carotid and femoral arteries (P = 0.020 and P < 0.001, respectively). DeltaClamp-IR was significantly correlated with the changes in stiffness index beta of both common carotid (P = 0.040) and femoral artery (P = 0.016). Divided into tertiles according to DeltaClamp-IR, decreases in stiffness index beta for both common carotid (P = 0.009) and femoral (P = 0.037) arteries was greater in tertile group with a higher DeltaClamp-IR. Hyperinsulinemia during clamp decreased stiffness index beta in both common carotid (P = 0.031) and femoral (P = 0.025) arteries before exercise, but these effects disappeared after the exercise protocol.

Conclusions: Short-term aerobic exercise significantly decreased arterial stiffness in both common carotid and femoral arteries, and the reduction of stiffness was associated with improvement of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Artery / physiopathology*
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / blood
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Tonus / physiology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin
  • Lipids