, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 323-330
Date: 13 Apr 2011

Exercise Training and Endothelial Function

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Vascular endothelium is a key determinant of circulatory homeostasis because it coordinates tissue perfusion and modulates arterial compliance. Endothelial dysfunction is considered to be a very early indication of atherosclerosis, being detectable even in childhood. Later on in life, endothelial dysfunction in large conduit arteries has been consistently shown to be a significant predictor of cardiovascular events. Elegantly conducted innovative studies have demonstrated the efficacy of physical exercise in improving endothelial dysfunction. Randomized controlled trials with parallel group design with adequate statistical power have consistently shown the therapeutic efficacy of both aerobic and resistance exercise training as physiologic means to improve, and even normalize, vascular endothelial function in patients with cardiovascular diseases. On the contrary, few data of comparable quality are available from randomized controlled trials among asymptomatic subjects or in those with metabolic disturbances. In addition, female participants are clearly under-represented in exercise training studies with vascular function as the key outcome measure.