European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 110, Issue 1, pp 161–169 | Cite as

The effect of aerobic versus strength-based training on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in older adults

  • Raul A. Martins
  • Ana P. Neves
  • Manuel J. Coelho-Silva
  • Manuel T. Veríssimo
  • Ana Maria TeixeiraEmail author
Original Article


Increased levels of inflammatory markers, namely, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), have been associated with several chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Forty-five women and men aged >64 years participated in the study and were randomly assigned to two exercise intervention groups and a non-exercising control group. The participants assigned to the exercising groups followed a 16-week exercise protocol based either on aerobic training (AT) or strength training (ST) followed by a further 16 weeks off-training period. The control group (C) remained sedentary throughout the study. Evaluation of body mass, BMI, waist circumference, aerobic endurance, lower-body strength, upper-body strength, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and hs-CRP were performed at baseline, after 16 weeks (post-training for the exercise groups) and at 32 weeks (follow-up). Both, AT and ST groups significantly increased functional fitness at the end of the exercise programs when compared to baseline values. hs-CRP concentrations were maintained throughout the study for the C group, while decreasing 10% at 16 weeks and 51% at 32 weeks for the AT group. In the ST group the hs-CRP concentrations decreased by 11 and 39% at 16 and 32 weeks, respectively. Decreases in hs-CRP concentrations were statistically significant for the AT and ST groups at the 32-week evaluation when compared to baseline. Reduction in hs-CRP concentrations seemed to be associated with strength gains and adiposity loss.


hs-CRP BMI Waist circumference Elderly Aerobic exercise Strength exercise 



This work was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the Portuguese Institute of Sport (IDP).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raul A. Martins
    • 1
  • Ana P. Neves
    • 2
  • Manuel J. Coelho-Silva
    • 1
  • Manuel T. Veríssimo
    • 3
  • Ana Maria Teixeira
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Centre for Sport and Physical Activity, Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Ministry of HealthArganilPortugal
  3. 3.Research Centre for Sport and Physical Activity, Faculty of Medicine, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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