The relationship between increased arterial stiffness and cardiovascular mortality is well established in type 2 diabetes. This study examined whether aerobic exercise could reduce arterial stiffness in older adults with type 2 diabetes complicated by comorbid hypertension and hyperlipidemia. A total of 36 older adults with diet-controlled or oral hypoglycemic-controlled type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia were recruited. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an aerobic group (3 months vigorous aerobic exercise) and a nonaerobic group (no aerobic exercise). Exercise sessions were supervised by a certified exercise trainer three times per week, and a combination of cycle ergometers and treadmills was used. Arterial stiffness was measured using the Complior device. When the two groups were compared, aerobic training resulted in a decrease in measures of both radial and femoral pulse-wave velocity despite the fact that aerobic fitness as assessed by Vo(2max) did not demonstrate an improvement with training.
These findings indicate that a relatively short aerobic exercise intervention in older adults can reduce multifactorial arterial stiffness (type 2 diabetes, aging, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia).
Madden KM, Lockhart C, Cuff D, Potter TF, Meneilly GS. Short-term aerobic exercise reduces arterial stiffness in older adults with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Diabetes Care. 2009 Aug;32(8):1531-5