XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Effect of progressive resistance training on strength evolution of elderly living with HIV as compared to matched controls

P.M.L. Souza1, W. Jacob-Filho2, J.M. Santarém2, A.A. Zomignan1, M.N. Burattini1

1The University of São Paulo, Pathology, São Paulo, Brazil, 2The University of São Paulo, Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil

Background: Elderly people present significant muscular strength decrease, compromising their quality of life. Chronic infections, such as HIV/AIDS, worsen this situation because they potentialize the effects of aging. This study compares the effects of one year of progressive resistance training on muscular strength, physical fitness and body composition of older adults living with HIV or not.
Methods: Eleven adults living with HIV, ≥ 60 years old and without regular physical activity plus 21 controls, matched for age, sex and baseline physical activity, were prospectively followed for one year. Primary exercises for major muscular groups were included in the training program consisting of 3 sets of 12-8 repetitions, at light, moderate and heavy loads, performed 2 times/week during 1 year, under professional supervision. Strength increase was evaluated bimonthly while body composition and physical fitness were evaluated before and after the one-year training.
Results: Those living with HIV were younger, had smaller BMI and were weaker than matched controls for those muscular groups related to the keeping of orthostatic position. However, there were significant strength increases for all exercises, with the average loads supported increasing from 1.52 to 2.33 times the baseline values for those living with HIV in contrast with an increase ranging from 1.21 to only 1.48 times the baseline values in controls (p=0.033). In addition, among those living with HIV the muscular strength increased linearly along the training, while presenting a saturation pattern for controls. These effects were seen independently of gender, age or baseline physical activity.
Conclusions: Resistance training safely increased the strength of older adults living with HIV, nullifying the differences initially seen when compared to healthy controls. These findings favor the recommendation of resistance training programs for elder adults living with HIV.

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