Longterm Neuroendocrine and Metabolic Effects of Physical Training in Intermittent Claudication
S Rosfors, S Bygdeman, B B Arnetz, G Lahnborg, L Sköldö, P Eneroth, A Kallner
Department of Clinical Physiology, St Göran's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Twenty-five elderly patients with peripheral vascular disease and intermittent claudication were prospectively followed during a six-month session of physical training. Neuroendocrine and metabolic patterns as well as effects on walking performance were assessed during the training period. At the initial evaluation there was an inverse association between walking distance and serum cortisol and blood glucose levels. The walking distance increased during the training period. A positive effect on glucose homeostatis was seen with decreased basal fructosamine levels after training. During physical exercise a decrease in insulin and an increase in growth hormone was seen. Changes in growth hormone were, in contrast to insulin, more related to the pain level perceived than to the work load imposed. Apart from the marked effects on physical performance the results of the study suggest an improvement of hormonal and metabolic balance after physical training. This regularly applied exercise program improved the health status of rather old people.
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