Original research| Volume 25, ISSUE 5, P364-371, May 2022

Download started.


The effects of HIIT compared to MICT on endothelial function and hemodynamics in postmenopausal females

Published:February 01, 2022DOI:



      The study was designed to investigate the role of exercise in ameliorating endothelial function and hemodynamics in postmenopausal females, and compare the different effects of high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training by equalizing training load.


      Randomized controlled trial.


      First intervention, 30 volunteers were randomized into low-intensity continuous training group or sedentary group. The low-intensity continuous training group was assigned to a 12-week training program at an intensity of 40% maximum heart reserve. The second intervention was an 8-week training program, in which 18 individuals were randomly placed either in the moderate-intensity continuous training or high-intensity interval training group. Flow-mediated dilatation, blood samples, carotid ultrasound, and wall shear stress were collected before, during, and after the interventions.


      Flow-mediated dilatation was significantly increased in low-intensity continuous training group (p = 0.02), moderate-intensity continuous training (p = 0.023) and high-intensity interval training (p < 0.01) groups, with a time × group interaction for %FMD (F2, 32 = 4.421, p = 0.02), and a main effect of time (F2, 32 = 27.658, p < 0.001). Nitric oxide in low-intensity continuous training increased remarkably (p = 0.024) and was higher than that in control (p = 0.011). High-intensity interval training (p < 0.001) and moderate-intensity continuous training (p < 0.001) increased nitric oxide. Endothelin was decreased only in high-intensity interval training group (p = 0.049). All the training programs had a remarkable impact on wall shear stress.


      Low-intensity continuous training can improve endothelial function in postmenopausal females. High-intensity interval training could be an effective training regimen for improving endothelial function than moderate-intensity continuous training in postmenopausal females.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Cardiovascular diseases. World Health Organization Web site.
        World Health Organization
        Date: 2017
        ([cited 2021 February 22]. Available from)
        • Herrington W.
        • Lacey B.
        • Sherliker P.
        • et al.
        Epidemiology of atherosclerosis and the potential to reduce the global burden of atherothrombotic disease.
        Circ Res. 2016; 118: 535-546
        • Moreau K.L.
        • Hildreth K.L.
        Vascular aging across the menopause transition in healthy women.
        Adv Vasc Med. 2014; : 2014
        • Howard V.J.
        • McDonnell M.N.
        Physical activity in primary stroke prevention: just do it!.
        Stroke. 2015; 46: 1735-1739
        • Bond B.
        • Cockcroft E.J.
        • Williams C.A.
        • et al.
        Two weeks of high-intensity interval training improves novel but not traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors in adolescents.
        Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2015; 309: H1039-H1047
        • Williams J.S.
        • Del Giudice M.
        • Gurd B.J.
        • et al.
        Reproducible improvement in endothelial function following two separate periods of high-intensity interval training in young men.
        J Appl Physiol (Bethesda, Md : 1985). 2020; 129: 725-731
        • O’Brien M.W.
        • Johns J.A.
        • Robinson S.A.
        • et al.
        Impact of high-intensity interval training, moderate-intensity continuous training, and resistance training on endothelial function in older adults.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2020; 52: 1057-1067
        • Ashor A.W.
        • Lara J.
        • Siervo M.
        • et al.
        Exercise modalities and endothelial function: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
        Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2015; 45: 279-296
        • Corte de Araujo A.C.
        • Roschel H.
        • Picanço A.R.
        • et al.
        Similar health benefits of endurance and high-intensity interval training in obese children.
        PLoS One. 2012; 7e42747
        • Mitranun W.
        • Deerochanawong C.
        • Tanaka H.
        • et al.
        Continuous vs interval training on glycemic control and macro- and microvascular reactivity in type 2 diabetic patients.
        Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014; 24: e69-e76
        • Wisløff U.
        • Støylen A.
        • Loennechen J.P.
        • et al.
        Superior cardiovascular effect of aerobic interval training versus moderate continuous training in heart failure patients: a randomized study.
        Circulation. 2007; 115: 3086-3094
        • Klonizakis M.
        • Moss J.
        • Gilbert S.
        • et al.
        Low-volume high-intensity interval training rapidly improves cardiopulmonary function in postmenopausal women.
        Menopause (New York, NY). 2014; 21: 1099-1105
        • Foster C.
        • Rodriguez-Marroyo J.A.
        • de Koning J.J.
        Monitoring training loads: the past, the present, and the future.
        Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2017; 12: S22-S28
        • Bourque S.L.
        • Davidge S.T.
        • Adams M.A.
        The interaction between endothelin-1 and nitric oxide in the vasculature: new perspectives.
        Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011; 300: R1288-R1295
        • Di Francescomarino S.
        • Sciartilli A.
        • Di Valerio V.
        • et al.
        The effect of physical exercise on endothelial function.
        Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2009; 39: 797-812
        • Madsen S.M.
        • Thorup A.C.
        • Overgaard K.
        • et al.
        Functional and structural vascular adaptations following 8 weeks of low volume high intensity interval training in lower leg of type 2 diabetes patients and individuals at high risk of metabolic syndrome.
        Arch Physiol Biochem. 2015; 121: 178-186
        • Mury W.V.
        • Brunini T.M.
        • Abrantes D.C.
        • et al.
        Hyperaggregability and impaired nitric oxide production in platelets from postmenopausal women.
        Maturitas. 2015; 80: 75-81
        • Morton R.H.
        • Fitz-Clarke J.R.
        • Banister E.W.
        Modeling human performance in running.
        J Appl Physiol (Bethesda, Md : 1985). 1990; 69: 1171-1177
        • Banister E.W.
        • Calver T.W.
        • Savage M.V.
        • et al.
        A systems model of training for athletic performance.
        Aust J Sports Med. 1975; 7: 57-61
        • Lin C.M.
        • Su J.C.
        • Chang Y.J.
        • et al.
        Is carotid sonography a useful tool for predicting functional capabilities in ischemic stroke patients following carotid artery stenting?.
        Medicine. 2017; 96e6363
        • Malek A.M.
        • Alper S.L.
        • Izumo S.
        Hemodynamic shear stress and its role in atherosclerosis.
        Jama. 1999; 282: 2035-2042
        • Sarvasti D.
        • Lalenoh I.
        • Oepangat E.
        • et al.
        Cardiovascular protection variables based on exercise intensity in stable coronary heart disease patients after coronary stenting: a comparative study.
        Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2020; 16: 257-270
        • Nyberg M.
        • Seidelin K.
        • Andersen T.R.
        • et al.
        Biomarkers of vascular function in premenopausal and recent postmenopausal women of similar age: effect of exercise training.
        Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014; 306: R510-R517
        • Tjønna A.E.
        • Lee S.J.
        • Rognmo Ø.
        • et al.
        Aerobic interval training versus continuous moderate exercise as a treatment for the metabolic syndrome: a pilot study.
        Circulation. 2008; 118: 346-354
        • Jo E.A.
        • Cho K.I.
        • Park J.J.
        • et al.
        Effects of high-intensity interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training on epicardial fat thickness and endothelial function in hypertensive metabolic syndrome.
        Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2020; 18: 96-102
        • Ramírez-Vélez R.
        • Hernández-Quiñones P.A.
        • Tordecilla-Sanders A.
        • et al.
        Effectiveness of HIIT compared to moderate continuous training in improving vascular parameters in inactive adults.
        Lipids Health Dis. 2019; 18: 42
        • Thijssen D.H.
        • Bullens L.M.
        • van Bemmel M.M.
        • et al.
        Does arterial shear explain the magnitude of flow-mediated dilation?: a comparison between young and older humans.
        Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009; 296: H57-H64
        • Yeboah J.
        • Crouse J.R.
        • Hsu F.C.
        • et al.
        Brachial flow-mediated dilation predicts incident cardiovascular events in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study.
        Circulation. 2007; 115: 2390-2397
        • Newcomer S.C.
        • Thijssen D.H.J.
        • Green D.J.
        Effects of exercise on endothelium and endothelium/smooth muscle cross talk: role of exercise-induced hemodynamics.
        J Appl Physiol (Bethesda, Md : 1985). 2011; 111: 311-320
        • Yurdagul A.
        • Orr A.W.
        Blood brothers: hemodynamics and cell-matrix interactions in endothelial function.
        Antioxid Redox Signal. 2016; 25: 415-434
        • Ghardashi Afousi A.
        • Izadi M.R.
        • Rakhshan K.
        • et al.
        Improved brachial artery shear patterns and increased flow-mediated dilatation after low-volume high-intensity interval training in type 2 diabetes.
        Exp Physiol. 2018; 103: 1264-1276