Twelve Weeks of Strength Training Reduces Serum Interleukin-6 in Community Dwelling Elderly Individuals with Co-morbidity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Ageing is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation. Considering the correlation between inflammation and many aged-related chronic diseases several strategies have been employed to counteract this phenomenon. Physical exercise is thought to protect against, or delays the onset of some of the pathological conditions associated with low-grade inflammation.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 12 weeks of strength training (TE) on serum IL-6 in a group of elderly community dwelling individuals presenting with some forms of co-morbidity.
Forty elderly participants were enrolled in this study with median age 66.18 years (62.15, 72.67). Twenty participants were assigned to 12 weeks of progressive strength training. The exercises (leg press, leg abductor, leg adductor, vertical traction, chest press, and shoulder press) were performed on Technogym(TM) (Gambettola, Italy) devices, designed for strength training. The details of the training program are similar as those described by Bautmans and colleagues (Bautmans et al. 2005). Before starting with exercising or control (T0) and at the end (at least 24h and maximum 48h after the last training session) of the 12 week strength-training program or control period (TE) serum samples were collected from all participants and stored at -20°C until determination. IL-6 measurement was performed using commercially available ELISA kits (Biosource International, Nijvel, Belgium) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test, and Friedman test. Differences were considered to be significant when p <0.05. Results:
Our analyses showed a positive impact of strength training on the serum concentration of IL-6 after a 12 weeks intervention. IL-6 decreased significantly in the exercise group (p = 0.001), whereas it remained unchanged in the control group (p = 0.117). However, we did not observe a statistically significant difference in IL-6 concentration when the Exercise and Control groups were compared (p = 0.192). On average, 50% of our exercise participants' witness a 49% increase in their lower muscle strength (p = 0.008) after 12 weeks of TE.
We reported that despite the presence of significant co-morbidities, strength training decreased significantly the circulating levels of IL-6 (p = 0.001), which remained unchanged in the control group.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican College of Sports Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2014
EventUnknown -
Duration: 26 May 2014 → …


Period26/05/14 → …


  • IL-6
  • Strength training
  • Exercise
  • Ageing


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