Introduction: Childhood obesity is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) development. It is necessary to combat unfavorable outcomes of obesity at a young age by utilizing effective interventions, such as exercise.
Purpose: We sought to examine the effects of a jump rope exercise program on CVD risk factors, including body composition, vasoactive substances, inflammation, and vascular function in prehypertensive adolescent girls.
Methods: Forty girls (age 14-16) were recruited and randomly assigned to a jump rope exercise group (EX, n = 20) or control group (CON, n = 20). Body composition, nitrate and nitrite levels, endothelin-1 (ET-1), C-reactive protein (CRP), systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), and arterial stiffness were measured before and after 12 weeks.
Results: There were significant group by time interactions following the 12-week program for body composition (from 33.8 ± 3.6 to 30.2 ± 3.1%), central adiposity (from 86.4 ± 4 to 83.3 ± 5 cm), SBP (from 126 ± 3.3 to 120 ± 2.1 mmHg), and brachial-to-ankle pulse wave velocity (from 8.2 ± 1.0 to 7.4 ± 0.2 m/s). Nitrate/nitrite levels increased (from 54.5 ± 5.1 to 57.2 ± 5.2 µmol) along a reduction in CRP levels (from 0.5 ± 0.4 to 0.2 ± 0.1 mg/L). There were no significant changes in ET-1 (P = 0.22).
Conclusions: These findings indicate that jump rope exercise may be an effective intervention to improve these CVD risk factors in prehypertensive adolescent girls. Jumping rope is an easily accessible exercise modality that may have important health implications for CVD prevention in younger populations.
Keywords: Arterial stiffness; C-reactive protein; Central adiposity; Endothelin-1; Nitric oxide; Pulse wave velocity.