Bottom Line: Excessive fat tissue around the heart may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This study looked at what effect aerobic and resistance exercise had on this fat tissue called epicardial and pericardial adipose tissue. This was a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial that included 50 physically inactive adults with abdominal obesity who had 12 weeks of high-intensity endurance or resistance training or no exercise as a control group for comparison. Change in fat tissue around the heart was measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Researchers report endurance and resistance training reduced epicardial adipose tissue mass but pericardial adipose tissue mass was reduced only by resistance training compared with no exercise. The study has several limitations to consider, including its small size. These findings need to be replicated in other larger studies.
Authors: Regitse Højgaard Christensen, M.D., University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and coauthors
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