Effects of aerobic and resistance exercise alone or combined on strength and hormone outcomes for people living with HIV. A meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects muscle mass, altering independent activities of people living with HIV (PLWH). Resistance training alone (RT) or combined with aerobic exercise (AE) is linked to improved muscle mass and strength maintenance in PLWH. These exercise benefits have been the focus of different meta-analyses, although only a limited number of studies have been identified up to the year 2013/4. An up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis concerning the effect of RT alone or combined with AE on strength parameters and hormones is of high value, since more and recent studies dealing with these types of exercise in PLWH have been published. METHODS: Randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of RT alone, AE alone or the combination of both (AERT) on PLWH was performed through five web-databases up to December 2017. Risk of bias and study quality was attained using the PEDro scale. Weighted mean difference (WMD) from baseline to post-intervention changes was calculated. The I2 statistics for heterogeneity was calculated. RESULTS: Thirteen studies reported strength outcomes. Eight studies presented a low risk of bias. The overall change in upper body strength was 19.3 Kg (95% CI: 9.8-28.8, p< 0.001) after AERT and 17.5 Kg (95% CI: 16-19.1, p< 0.001) for RT. Lower body change was 29.4 Kg (95% CI: 18.1-40.8, p< 0.001) after RT and 10.2 Kg (95% CI: 6.7-13.8, p< 0.001) for AERT. Changes were higher after controlling for the risk of bias in upper and lower body strength and for supervised exercise in lower body strength. A significant change towards lower levels of IL-6 was found (-2.4 ng/dl (95% CI: -2.6, -2.1, p< 0.001). CONCLUSION: Both resistance training alone and combined with aerobic exercise showed a positive change when studies with low risk of bias and professional supervision were analyzed, improving upper and, more critically, lower body muscle strength. Also, this study found that exercise had a lowering effect on IL-6 levels in PLWH


Perez Chaparro CGA, Zech P, Schuch F, Wolfarth B, Rapp M, Heibetael A




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population


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