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2022, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (5): 804-812

Effect of resistance training on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein in middle-age and elderly people: a Meta-analysis

Liu Yiyi, Qiu Junqiang, Yi Longyan, Zhou Cailiang   

  1. Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China

  • Received:2020-10-24 Revised:2020-10-29 Accepted:2021-01-21 Online:2022-02-18 Published:2021-12-03

  • Contact: Qiu Junqiang, PhD, Professor, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China

  • About author:Liu Yiyi, Master candidate, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China

  • Supported by:

    the National Key Research and Development Special Project of China, No. 2018YFC2000601 (to QJQ)



Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Chronic low-grade inflammation which causes many chronic diseases caused by age is easy to occur in the middle-age and elderly people. In order to estimate the effect of resistance training on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein in middle-aged and elderly people, and study the effects of different sexes, duration of intervention and mode, this study provided scientific theory for the application of resistance training in the middle-aged and elderly.
METHODS: CNKI, WanFang Data, PubMed, Web of Science, and EBSCO were searched for randomized controlled trials or self-controlled trials about the effect of resistance training on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels in the middle-aged and elderly published before May 2020. Literature screening and data extraction were conducted according to the established literature inclusion and exclusion criteria. Enrolled literatures were evaluated using Cochrane Handbood 5.1.0 and ROBINS-I 2.0. Meta-analysis was conducted using RevMan 5.3. Subgroup analysis was carried out between different sexes, duration of intervention and interventional modes.
RESULTS: There were 13 eligible articles with 246 subjects, all of which were assessed as low-risk bias. Meta-analysis results showed that resistance training significantly reduced interleukin-6 levels (mean difference [MD]=-0.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.48 to -0.11, P=0.002), but showed no significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels (MD=-0.26, 95%CI: -0.54 to -0.02, P=0.07) in the middle-aged and elderly. Subgroup analysis indicated resistance training effectively reduced interleukin-6 levels in middle-aged and elderly people, which showed less association with interventional subjects and duration of intervention (P < 0.05). Resistance training less than 12 weeks could effectively reduce the C-reactive protein level (P < 0.05), and resistance training (MD=-0.25, 95% CI: -0.54 to 0.04, P=0.05) had better effect on reducing the C-reactive protein level compared with elastic band resistance training (MD=-0.34, 95% CI: -1.39 to 0.71, P=0.87).

CONCLUSION: Resistance training can effectively reduce the interleukin-6 level, but has no significant reduction in the C-reactive protein level in the middle-aged and elderly. The short-term resistance training (< 12 weeks) has obvious effect on reducing the levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein inflammatory factors. Furthermore, mechanical resistance training may be more effective than elastic band resistance training. Further explorations on the effect of resistance training on C-reactive protein level in different research objects are required in future.

Key words:exercise, resistance training, middle-aged and elderly people, chronic low-grade inflammation, inflammatory factors, interleukin-6 , C-reactive protein, Meta-analysis


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