Aim To evaluate the effects of resistance training on metabolic syndrome risk factors through comparison with a control group.
Design Meta-analysis comparing resistance training interventions with control groups. Two independent reviewers selected the studies and assessed their quality and data. The pooled mean differences between resistance training and the control group were calculated using a fixed-effects model.
Data sources The MEDLINE, PEDro, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus and The Cochrane Library databases were searched from their earliest records to 10 January 2015.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Randomised controlled trials that compared the effect of resistance training on metabolic syndrome risk factors with a control group were included. All types of resistance training, irrespective of intensity, frequency or duration, were eligible.
Results Only systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced, by 4.08 mm Hg (95% CI 1.33 to 6.82; p<0.01), following resistance training. The pooled effect showed a reduction of 0.04 mmol/L (95% CI −0.12, 0.21; p>0.05) for fasting plasma glucose, 0.00 (95% CI −0.05, 0.04; p>0.05) for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, 0.03 (95% CI −0.14, 0.20; p>0.05) for triglycerides, 1.39 mm Hg (95% CI −0.19, 2.98; p=0.08) for diastolic blood pressure and 1.09 cm (95% CI −0.12, 2.30; p=0.08) for waist circumference. Inconsistency (I2) for all meta-analysis was 0%.
Conclusions Resistance training may help reduce systolic blood pressure levels, stroke mortality and mortality from heart disease in people with metabolic syndrome.
Trial registration number CRD42015016538.
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