Effects of Resistance Training With and Without Caloric Restriction on Arterial Stiffness in Overweight and Obese Older Adults

Am J Hypertens. 2016 Apr;29(4):494-500. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpv139. Epub 2015 Aug 20.


Background: Arterial stiffness is an important marker of vascular aging that is increased in sedentary, obese older adults. Weight loss induced by caloric restriction (CR) can improve arterial stiffness in this population; however, the effects of resistance training (RT) are not clear. This pilot study determined the effects of RT with and without CR on arterial stiffness in overweight and obese older adults.

Methods: Participants (mean age = 68±3 years, mean body mass index = 31.1±2.7 kg/m(2), 56% female, 13% Black) were randomly assigned to 3 days/week of supervised moderate-intensity RT (n = 16) or RT+CR (n = 16) for 5 months. Three indices of arterial stiffness were measured: brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, large artery elasticity, and small artery elasticity.

Results: Body mass was significantly reduced in the RT+CR group compared to the RT group (-6.2±4.8 vs. 0.2±1.2 kg, P = 0.0006). Within-group analyses showed that none of the arterial stiffness measures changed with RT or RT+CR. There were also no significant between-group differences, though median changes in large artery elasticity were slightly greater with RT+CR: 0.7 (-2.5, 5.1) vs. 0.3 (-2.6, 0.9) ml/mm Hg × 10, P = 0.07. Changes in large artery elasticity were negatively correlated with changes in waist circumference (r = -0.36, P < 0.05), systolic blood pressure (r = -0.38, P = 0.03), and diastolic blood pressure (r = -0.41, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: The combination of RT and CR, leading to a modest amount of weight loss (7%), tended to increase large artery elasticity more than RT alone. Our data suggest that reductions in waist circumference and blood pressure may promote improvements in elasticity.

Clinical trials registration: Trial Number NCT01049698.

Keywords: aging; arterial elasticity; blood pressure; exercise; hypertension; obesity; pulse wave velocity; weight loss..

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Resistance Training*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Vascular Stiffness*
  • Waist Circumference
  • Weight Loss

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01049698