High-Intensity Interval Training in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: a Systematic Review

  • Djeniffer Elias da Silva
  • Antônio José Grande
  • Leonardo Roever
  • Gary Tse
  • Tong Liu
  • Giuseppe Biondi-Zoccai
  • Joni Márcio de FariasEmail author
Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Trials and Their Interpretations (L. Roever, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Trials and Their Interpretations


Purpose of Review

High-intensity exercise may beneficially impact on insulin sensitivity. However, there is still uncertainty on the actual impact of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on chronic physiologic adaptations among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to systematically search and appraise the evidence base on the effects of HIIT in comparison to mild- or moderate-intensity interval training (MMIIT) on glycemic control inT2DM.

Recent Findings

A total of 5 RCT met the inclusion criteria. Most studies presented significant differences for weight and BMI with HIIT, and with both interventions for total body fat. For the other health-related variables (systolic and diastolic BP, fasting cholesterol, LDL and HDL, triglycerides, fasting glucose, and HbAc1), only 1 study provided detailed results for HIIT, showing significant differences for systolic BP and HDL cholesterol in 2 studies, total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, whereas for MIIT, only 1 study brought significant differences for LDL cholesterol. For glucose levels, significant differences were reported in 4 studies for both HIIT and MMIT, but only two studies used the percentage delta assessment tool, whereas 1 study only showed significant improvements for HIIT.


The number of studies for the analysis is not precise as to the statements regarding the results of the intervention proposed for this public, since they do not allow identifying a consistency of the findings, not presenting diversity between the training methods and the different methods of volume control and intensity of training.


Exercise High-intensity interval training Diabetes mellitus 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Djeniffer Elias da Silva, Antônio José Grande, Leonardo Roever, Gary Tse, Tong Liu, Giuseppe Biondi-Zoccai, and Joni Márcio de Farias declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Djeniffer Elias da Silva
    • 1
  • Antônio José Grande
    • 2
  • Leonardo Roever
    • 3
  • Gary Tse
    • 4
    • 5
  • Tong Liu
    • 6
  • Giuseppe Biondi-Zoccai
    • 7
    • 8
  • Joni Márcio de Farias
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.University of the Far South Catarinense – UNESCCriciúmaBrazil
  2. 2.State University of Mato Grosso do SulCampo GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ResearchFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of MedicineChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  5. 5.Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  6. 6.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ionic-Molecular Function of Cardiovascular Disease, Department of Cardiology, Tianjin Institute of CardiologyThe Second Hos-pital of Tianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  7. 7.Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and BiotechnologiesSapienza University of RomeLatinaItaly
  8. 8.IRCCS NeuromedPozzilliItaly

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