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Effect of Habitual Aerobic Exercise on Body Weight and Arterial Function in Overweight and Obese Men

      The effect of habitual exercise on vascular function, including central arterial distensibility and endothelial function, in obese subjects has not yet been clarified. We investigated whether aerobic exercise training affects central arterial distensibility and endothelial function in middle-age overweight and obese men. A total of 21 overweight and obese men (age 50 ± 2 years, body mass index 30 ± 1 kg/m2) completed a 12-week aerobic exercise intervention. Aerobic exercise training significantly reduced their body weight and resulted in a significant decrease in body mass index. After the weight-reduction exercise program, carotid arterial compliance (determined by simultaneous B-mode ultrasonography and arterial applanation tonometry on the common carotid artery) significantly increased; and the β-stiffness index, an index of arterial compliance adjusted for distending pressure, significantly decreased. The concentrations of plasma endothelin-1, a potent vasoconstrictor peptide produced by vascular endothelial cells, significantly decreased and plasma nitric oxide (measured as the stable end product [nitrite/nitrate]), a potent vasodilator produced by vascular endothelial cells, significantly increased after the weight-reduction exercise program. In conclusion, weight reduction by aerobic exercise training in overweight and obese men increased the central arterial distensibility. This increase might contribute to the improvement in endothelial function, as assessed by a decrease in endothelin-1 and an increase in nitric oxide, after exercise training-induced weight loss.
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