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The Efficacy of Stretching Exercises on Arterial Stiffness in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Non-Randomized Controlled Trials

PainSci » bibliography » Kato et al 2020
Tags: stretch, odd, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, muscle

One article on PainSci cites Kato 2020: Quite a Stretch

Common issues and characteristics relevant to this paper: ?Scientific papers have many common characteristics, flaws, and limitations, and many of these are rarely or never acknowledged in the paper itself, or even by other reviewers. I have reviewed thousands of papers, and described many of these issues literally hundreds of times. Eventually I got sick of repeating myself, and so now I just refer to a list common characteristics, especially flaws. Not every single one of them applies perfectly to every paper, but if something is listed here, it is relevant in some way. Note that in the case of reviews, the issue may apply to the science being reviewed, and not the review itself.

  1. Declares statistical significance without acknowledging low effect sizes. Major foul.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Aerobic exercise is known to reduce arterial stiffness; however, high-intensity resistance exercise is associated with increased arterial stiffness. Stretching exercises are another exercise modality, and their effect on arterial stiffness remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stretching exercises reduce arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults, performing the first meta-analysis of currently available studies.

METHODS: We searched the literature for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs published up to January 2020 describing middle-aged and older adults who participated in a stretching intervention vs. controls without exercise training. The primary and secondary outcomes were changes in arterial stiffness and vascular endothelial function and hemodynamic status. Pooled mean differences (MDs) and standard MDs (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between the intervention and control groups were calculated using a random effects model.

RESULTS: We identified 69 trials and, after an assessment of relevance, eight trials, including a combined total of 213 subjects, were analyzed. Muscle stretching exercises were shown to significantly «There’s that word!» reduce arterial stiffness and improve vascular endothelial function (SMD: -1.00, 95% CI: -1.57 to -0.44, p = 0.0004; SMD: 1.15, 95% CI: 0.26 to 2.03, p = 0.01, respectively). Resting heart rate (HR) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased significantly after stretching exercise intervention (MD: -0.95 beats/min, 95% CI: -1.67 to -0.23 beats/min, p = 0.009; MD: -2.72 mm Hg, 95% CI: -4.01 to -1.43 mm Hg, p < 0.0001, respectively)

CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses suggest that stretching exercises reduce arterial stiffness, HR, and DBP, and improve vascular endothelial function in middle-aged and older adults.

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