Objectives: C-reactive protein (CRP), an acute phase reactant, has been associated with atherosclerosis and has also been discussed as a target for intervention. The effects of resistance exercise on CRP are currently not clear. The present analysis investigated the response of CRP to resistance exercise in old adults.
Design: Intervention study.
Participants: Old Icelandic adults (N = 235, 73.7 ± 5.7 years, 58.2% female).
Intervention: Twelve-week resistance exercise program (3 times/week; 3 sets, 6-8 repetitions at 75-80% of the 1-repetition maximum) designed to increase strength and muscle mass of major muscle groups.
Measurements: C-reactive protein (CRP).
Results: Mean CRP levels were 7.1 ± 4.6 mg/dL at baseline, thirty-six (15.6%) subjects had abnormally high CRP (>10 mg/L) values at baseline. After the resistance exercise program the overall changes in CRP were minor and not significant. However, CRP decreased considerably in participants with high CRP at baseline (-4.28 ± 9.41 mg/L; P = 0.015) but increased slightly in participants with normal CRP (0.81 ± 4.58 mg/L, P = 0.021).
Conclusions: Our study shows that the concentrations of circulating CRP decreased considerably after a 12-week resistance exercise program in participants with abnormally high CRP at baseline, possibly reducing thus risk for future disease. CRP changed little in participants with normal CRP at the start of the study.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01074879.