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Resistance training reduces systolic blood pressure in metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
  1. Ítalo Ribeiro Lemes1,
  2. Paulo Henrique Ferreira2,
  3. Stephanie Nogueira Linares1,
  4. Aryane Flauzino Machado1,
  5. Carlos Marcelo Pastre1,
  6. Jayme Netto Júnior1
  1. 1Department of Physiotherapy, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2Faculty of Health Sciences, Discipline of Physiotherapy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Italo Ribeiro Lemes, Department of Physiotherapy, UNESP—Universidade Estadual Paulista, 305, Roberto Simonsen. Presidente Prudente, SP 19060-900, Brazil; itolemes{at}


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.

  • Exercise training
  • Strength
  • Cardiovascular

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  • Contributors All the authors contributed to the design, searching and screening of studies and data extraction. IRL, PHF, CMP and JNJ contributed to the analysis, discussion and preparation of manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), grant #2013/10857-6 and #2014/05419-2.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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