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Title: HIIT is not superior to MICT in altering blood lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Contributor(s): Wood, Gina  (author); Murrell, Anna  (author)orcid ; Van Der Touw, Tom  (author); Smart, Neil  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000647
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Objective To compare the effects of moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) and high intensity interval training (HIIT) on adult lipid profiles; to identify training or participant characteristics that may determine exercise-induced change in total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TRG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources English language searches of several databases were conducted from inception until September 2019.

Eligibility criteria for excluding studies Inclusion: (1) published randomised controlled human trials with group population n≥5; (2) intervention duration ≥4 weeks; (3) comparing HIIT with MICT; and (4) reporting pre–post intervention lipid measurements. Exclusion: subjects with chronic disease, <18 years, pregnant/lactating, in elite athletic training; and studies with a dietary or pharmaceutical intervention component.

Results Twenty-nine data sets (mmol/L) of 823 participants were pooled and analysed. Neither HIIT nor MICT was better in decreasing TC (0.10 (−0.06 to 0.19), p=0.12, I2=0%), TRG (−0.05 (−0.11 to 0.01), p=0.10, I2=0%), LDL-C (0.05 (−0.06 to 0.17), p=0.37, I2=0%), or TC/HDL-C (−0.03 (−0.36 to 0.29), p=0.85, I2=0%). HIIT significantly raised HDL-C (0.07 (0.04 to 0.11), p<0.0001, I2=0%) compared with MICT.

Conclusion Neither HIIT nor MICT is superior for altering TC, TRG, or LDL-C, or TC-HDL-C ratio. Compared with MICT, HIIT appeared to significantly improve HDL-C. Clinicians may prescribe either protocol to encourage participation in exercise and reduce cardiovascular risk. To raise HDL-C, HIIT may result in a larger effect size compared with MICT.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42019136722.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 5(1), p. 1-13
Publisher: BMJ Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2055-7647
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 110602 Exercise Physiology
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 320101 Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920412 Preventive Medicine
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200412 Preventive medicine
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Rural Medicine
School of Science and Technology

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