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Changes in Body Composition and Cardiometabolic Health After Detraining in Older Men with Osteosarcopenia: 6-Month Follow-Up of the Randomized Controlled Franconian Osteopenia and Sarcopenia Trial (FrOST) Study

Authors Kemmler W, Schoene D, Kohl M, von Stengel S

Received 31 December 2020

Accepted for publication 20 February 2021

Published 6 April 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 571—582


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nandu Goswami

Wolfgang Kemmler,1 Daniel Schoene,1 Matthias Kohl,2 Simon von Stengel1

1Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, 91053, Germany; 2Faculty Medical and Life Sciences, University of Furtwangen, Villingen-Schwenningen, 78054, Germany

Correspondence: Wolfgang Kemmler
Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Henkestrasse 91, Erlangen, 91052, Germany
Tel +49 9131 8523999
Fax +49 9131 8522824
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Temporary cessation of exercise but maintenance of habitual physical activity might be a frequent situation in older people’s lives. Particularly the COVID-19 induced lockdown of exercise training facilities with individual outdoor activities still being allowed might be a blueprint for this potentially harmful scenario. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the effects of 6 months of detraining after 18 months of high-intensity resistance exercise (HIT-RT) on body composition and cardiometabolic outcomes in predominately obese older men with osteosarcopenia.
Materials and Methods: Community-dwelling predominately obese men 72– 91 years old with low muscle and bone mass (n=43) were randomly assigned to an 18-month HIT-RT (EG: n=21) or a non-training control group (CG, n=22). After the intervention, participants of the EG discontinued HIT-RT for 6 months, but increased their habitual physical activity. Study outcomes were group differences in detraining changes (“effects”) for lean body mass (LBM), total and abdominal body fat rate (determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) and the Metabolic Syndrome Z-Score (MetSZ). We applied an intention-to-treat analysis with multiple imputation to analyze the data.
Results: After the 18-month HIT-RT, we observed significant positive training effects for LBM, total and abdominal body fat rate and the MetSZ (all p< 0.001). Abrupt cessation of HIT-RT for 6 months resulted in significantly higher unfavorable changes in the HIT-RT compared with the CG for LBM (p=0.001), total body fat (p=0.003) and the MetSZ (p=0.003), apart from abdominal body fat (p=0.059). However, significant overall effects were still present after 24 months for LBM and body fat indices but not for the MetSZ.
Conclusion: The present study clearly indicates the unfavorable effects of 6 months of detraining after HIT-RT. Correspondingly, exercise protocols particularly for older people should focus on continuous exercise with short regeneration periods rather than on intermitted protocols with pronounced training breaks.

Keywords: resistance exercise, detraining, lean body mass, body fat, metabolic syndrome, older men

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