(HealthDay News) — For testicular cancer survivors (TCS), a high-intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT) intervention improves cardiorespiratory fitness and reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Scott C. Adams, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues conducted a phase 2 trial involving 63 TCS who were randomized to usual care or 12 weeks of supervised HIIT (alternating periods of vigorous-intensity and light-intensity aerobic exercise). The authors examined peak aerobic fitness (VO2peak), assessed via a treadmill-based maximal cardiorespiratory exercise test.

Participants in the HIIT group attended 99% of the exercise sessions and achieved 98% of the target exercise intensity. The researchers found that HIIT was superior for improving VO2peak than usual care (adjusted between-group mean difference, 3.7 mL). In addition, superiority was seen for secondary outcomes, including CVD risk, arterial thickness, arterial stiffness, post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation, inflammation, and low-density lipoprotein. Compared with usual care, HIIT correlated with a 20% reduction in the prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors.

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“These findings have important implications for the management of TCS,” the authors write. “Further research concerning the long-term effects of HIIT on CVD morbidity and mortality in TCS is warranted.”

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  1. Adams SC, DeLorey DS, Davenport MH, et al. Effects of high-intensity aerobic interval training on cardiovascular disease risk in testicular cancer survivors: A phase 2 randomized controlled trial. Cancer. 14 July 2017. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30859