Introduction: Aging is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. It promotes vascular dysfunction which is associated with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Exercise can modulate vascular function parameters, but little is known about the effects of different modalities of training (aerobic, resistance, and combined) on endothelial function and arterial stiffness in older adults.
Methods: This systematic review study will include randomized controlled trials (RCTs) selected from the electronic databases MEDLINE (PubMed), Cochrane, LILACS, EMBASE, and Web of Science. We will follow the PRISMA guidelines and PICOS framework. Studies involving both male and female older adults (≥60 years old) with or without comorbidities undergoing aerobic, resistance, and/or combined training compared to a control group (no exercise) will be eligible. We will use the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2 (RoB 2) tool to evaluate the quality of individual studies and GRADE to assess the strength of evidence. Statistical analyses will be conducted with RStudio for Windows (v1.3.959) using R package meta.
Discussion: A systematic review and meta-analysis involving data from studies of older adults would deepen our understanding of vascular adaptations to exercise training in this population. It could provide new insights into how health providers can improve patient management and prevention of cardiovascular events in older adults.
Systematic review registration: PROSPERO 42021275451.
Keywords: Aging; Endothelium; Exercise; Pulse wave analysis; Reactive hyperemia; Vascular stiffness.
© 2022. The Author(s).