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Background: Inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins increase with aging, promoting a chronic low-grade inflammation. Studies have shown a positive effect of exercise on inflammatory markers in older persons. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP) are the main biomarkers investigated. However, it is unclear if exercise could decrease all these biomarkers. Purpose: The aim was to analyze the effect of chronic exercise on IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP levels in older persons. Methods: Preferred Reporting Items in Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines were adopted. Original articles that investigated the effect of chronic exercise on inflammatory profile of the elderly persons were eligible for this review. The databases PubMed, PEDro, EBSCO, and BioMed Central were searched. Three reviewers evaluated each publication for reducing bias. Data about IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP were collected and analyzed. A standardized mean difference based on estimated pooled effect size was calculated considering heterogeneity index (I2) and random effect. Results: Seventy-six studies were retrieved from databases, and 8 of them were analyzed. IL-6 and CRP levels decreased after chronic exercise (overall effect P < .05). Conclusion: Regular exercise decreases IL-6 and CRP levels in older persons. The effect of exercise on TNF-α remains unclear.

Monteiro-Junior and Rodrigues are with Post-graduation Program of Health Sciences, State University of Montes Claros, Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Monteiro-Junior, de Tarso Maciel-Pinheiro, da Matta Mello Portugal, da Silva Figueiredo, and Deslandes are with the Neuroscience Laboratory of Exercise, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nascimento is with the Post-graduation Program of Medicine (Neurology-Neuroscience), Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Monteiro-Junior and Rodrigues are also with the Research and Study Group of Neuroscience, Exercise, Health, and Sport—GENESEs, State University of Montes Claros, Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. da Matta Mello Portugal, Deslandes, and Laks are with the Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. da Silva Figueiredo and Laks are also with the Post-graduation Program of Translational Biomedicine—Biotrans, Unigranrio, Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Terra is with the Post-graduation Program in Clinical and Experimental Physiopathology, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas FCM/UERJ, Exercise Immunophysiology Laboratory, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carneiro is with the Centre of Research, Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal. Monteiro-Junior and Rodrigues are with the Physical Education and Sport Dept, State University of Montes Claros, Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. de Tarso Maciel-Pinheiro is also with the Institute of Physical Education, Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Monteiro-Junior is also with the Post-graduation Program of Medicine (Neurology-Neuroscience), Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Monteiro-Junior (monteirojuniorms@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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