Obesity and increased arterial stiffness are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Arterial stiffness is increased in obese individuals than in age-matched nonobese individuals. We demonstrated that dietary modification and exercise training are effective in reducing arterial stiffness in obese persons. However, the differences in the effect on arterial stiffness between dietary modification and exercise training are unknown. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effect of dietary modification and aerobic exercise training on arterial stiffness and endothelial function in overweight and obese persons. Forty-five overweight and obese men (48 ± 1 year) completed either a dietary modification (well-balanced nutrient, 1680 kcal/day) or an exercise-training program (walking, 40–60 min/day, 3 days/week) for 12 weeks. Before and after the intervention, all participants underwent anthropometric measurements. Arterial stiffness was measured based on carotid arterial compliance, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), and endothelial function was determined by circulating level of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide metabolite (nitrites/nitrate as metabolite: NOx). Body mass and waist circumference significantly decreased after both intervention programs. Weight loss was greater after dietary modification than after exercise training (-10.1 ± 0.6 kg vs. -3.6 ± 0.5 kg, p < .01). Although arterial stiffness and the plasma levels of ET-1 and NOx were improved after dietary modification or exercise training, there were no differences in those improvements between the 2 types of interventions. Exercise training improves arterial function in obese men without as much weight loss as after dietary modification.
Maeda, Tsujimoto, So, and Tanaka are with the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, and Zempo-Miyaki the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan. Sasai is with the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.