Short-Term, Light- to Moderate-Intensity Exercise Training Improves Leg Muscle Strength in the Oldest Old: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors

  • José A. Serra-Rexach MD, PhD,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Natalia Bustamante-Ara MSc,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Margarita Hierro Villarán MD,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Pedro González Gil MD,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Maria J. Sanz Ibáñez MD,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Nekane Blanco Sanz BSc,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Victor Ortega Santamaría BSc,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Natalia Gutiérrez Sanz BSc,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Ana B. Marín Prada BSc,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Cristian Gallardo MSc,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Gabriel Rodríguez Romo PhD,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Jonatan R. Ruiz PhD,

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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  • Alejandro Lucia MD, PhD

    1. From the *Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Medical Department, Residencia Los Nogales-Pacífico, Madrid, Spain; §Sports Department, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and#Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
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Address correspondence to José A. Serra Rexach, Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain. E-mail: jserra.hgugm@salud.madrid.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of an 8-week exercise training program with a special focus on light- to moderate-intensity resistance exercises (30–70% of one repetition maximum, 1RM) and a subsequent 4-week training cessation period (detraining) on muscle strength and functional capacity in participants aged 90 and older.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial performed during March to September 2009.

SETTING: Geriatric nursing home.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty nonagenarians (90–97) were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group (16 women and 4 men per group).

INTERVENTION: Eight-week muscle strength exercise intervention focused on lower limb strength exercises of light to moderate intensity.

MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome: 1RM leg press. Secondary outcomes: handgrip strength, 8-m walk test, 4-step stairs test, Timed Up and Go test, and number of falls.

RESULTS: A significant group by time interaction effect (P=.02) was observed only for the 1RM leg press. In the intervention group, 1RM leg press increased significantly with training by 10.6 kg [95% confidence interval (CI)=4.1–17.1 kg; P=.01]. Except for the mean group number of falls, which were 1.2 falls fewer per participant in the intervention group (95% CI=0.0–3.0; P=.03), no significant training effect on the secondary outcome measures was found.

CONCLUSION: Exercise training, even of short duration and light to moderate intensity, can increase muscle strength while decreasing fall risk in nonagenarians.

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