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Effects of hypocaloric diet, low-intensity resistance exercise with slow movement, or both on aortic hemodynamics and muscle mass in obese postmenopausal women

Figueroa, Arturo MD, PhD; Arjmandi, Bahram H. PhD; Wong, Alexei MS; Sanchez-Gonzalez, Marcos Angel MD, PhD; Simonavice, Emily PhD; Daggy, Bruce PhD

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e3182831ee4
Original Articles

Objective This study aims to examine the independent and combined impact of hypocaloric diet and low-intensity resistance exercise training (LIRET) on aortic hemodynamics and appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) in obese postmenopausal women.

Methods Forty-one obese postmenopausal women (mean [SD] age, 54 [1] y) were randomly assigned to LIRET (n = 13), diet (n = 14), or diet + LIRET (n = 14). Body weight, waist circumference, aortic systolic blood pressure, aortic pulse pressure, augmentation index, subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR; myocardial perfusion), and heart rate (HR) were measured before and after 12 weeks. ASM was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Results Body weight (P < 0.001) and waist circumference (P < 0.01) decreased similarly after diet and diet + LIRET compared with no changes after LIRET. ASM did not change after diet + LIRET, and the decrease observed after diet (P < 0.001) was significant compared with LIRET. Aortic systolic blood pressure decreased similarly after LIRET (P < 0.05), diet (P < 0.01), and diet + LIRET (P < 0.01). Aortic pulse pressure (P < 0.05) decreased similarly after diet and diet + LIRET, but not after LIRET. SEVR (P < 0.01) increased similarly in both diet groups, whereas HR (P < 0.01) decreased only after diet. Changes in SEVR (P < 0.05) and HR (P< 0.01) with diet were different compared with LIRET. The augmentation index did not change in any group.

Conclusions Our findings suggest that diet-induced weight loss may reduce cardiovascular risk by improving SEVR via HR and aortic pulse pressure reductions in obese postmenopausal women. LIRET prevents ASM loss associated with hypocaloric diet but has no additive effects on aortic hemodynamics.

From the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Received October 10, 2012; revised and accepted December 13, 2012.

Funding/support: The present study was supported by Nutrisystem Inc in the form of financial support and provision of food for the participants.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: B.D. works for Nutrisystem Inc.

The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: Arturo Figueroa, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 323306. E-mail:

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society.