Regular exercise is known to increase overall survival in humans. But how long-term exercise training affects older adults remains unknown. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of exercise training on all-cause mortality in older adults.

This randomized control trial included a total of 1,567 adults (mean age 72.8 years). The participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to perform intensity interval training (n=400), moderate-intensity continuous training (n=387), or abide by the moderate-intensity continuous training (n=780). The primary outcome of this study was all-cause mortality.

Of 1,567 participants, 87.5% of overall participants had overall good health. The researchers discovered no significant difference in all-cause mortality between the HIIT group, MICT group, and control group. A separate analysis of HIIT and MICT group with the control group as reference suggested that absolute mortality risk of 1.7 percentage points was associated with HIT compared with 1.2 percentage points with MICT. But with MICT used as the reference group, a risk reduction of 2.9 percentage points was discovered.

The research concluded that exercise training in older adults aged 70-77 years had no statistically significant impact on all-cause mortality. However, a downward mortality trend was observed in participants who performed HIIT.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3485