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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on cardiovascular autonomic function as determined by HRV, in type 2 diabetic patients. Fourteen type 2 diabetic individuals (Mean age ± SD = 57± 6.71 years) participated in the study. Resting electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded at baseline and 12-weeks after training. HRV was assessed from calculation of the mean R-R interval and its standard deviation measured on a 5-min ECG. Type 2 diabetic participants followed a 12-week HIIT on a treadmill consisting of four 30- min sessions per week. A HIIT session involved a 3- minute warm-up period, six short (2-min) maximum-intensity (80-90% HRR) efforts separated by six moderate intensity (50-60% HRR) recovery intervals (2-min) and a 3-minute cool down period. Results demonstrated a statistically significant difference in HRV pre (Mean age ± SD = 52.80 ± 8.5 ms) compared to post training (Mean age ± SD = 62.60 ± 11.00 ms), t(13) = -7.46, p < .001. The beneficial effect on autonomic regulation as a result of exercise training may have clinical importance in preventing sudden cardiac death in type 2 diabetic individuals.

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