XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Progressive resistance training in elderly hiv positive patients: does it work?

P.M.L. Souza1, W. Jacob-Filho2, J.M. Santarém2, Y.L. Ho3, A. Silva3, M.N. Burattini1

1The University of São Paulo, Pathology, São Paulo, Brazil, 2The University of São Paulo, Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil, 3The University of São Paulo, Infectious Diseases, São Paulo, Brazil

Background: Elderly people present alterations on body composition and physical fitness, compromising their life quality. Chronic diseases, including HIV/AIDS, worsen this situation. Resistance exercises are prescribed for improving fitness and promoting a healthier and independent aging. Recover strength and physical fitness is the goal of exercise in AIDS wasting syndrome. This study describes a case-series of HIV positive elderly participating in a progressive resistance training program and evaluates their body composition, muscular strength, physical fitness and the evolution of CD4 and CD8.
Methods: Subjects were prospectively recruited for nine months. Training program consisted of 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of leg press, seated row, lumbar extension and chest press, performed with free weights machines, 2 times/week during 1 year. Infectious diseases physicians followed patients, reporting all relevant clinical data. Body composition was assessed by anthropometric measures and by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry before and after the training program.
Results: Fourteen patients, aged 61-69 years old, of both genders, without regular physical activity and with an average 9 years HIV/AIDS history were enrolled. Strength of major muscular groups increased (74% - 122%, p=0.003 - 0.021), with a corresponding improvement on sit-standing and walking 2.4 m tests (p=0.003). There were no changes on clinical conditions and on body composition measures, but triceps and thigh skinfolds significantly reduced (p=0.037). In addition, there were significant increases in the CD4+ counts (Δ=+151 cells; p=0.008) and in the CD4+/CD8+ ratio (0.63 to 0.81, p=0.009).
Conclusions: Resistance training increased strength, improved physical fitness, reduced upper and lower limbs skinfolds, with an improvement in the CD4+ and CD4+/CD8+ counts in HIV positive elderly, without significant side effects.

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