HIIT'ing or MISS'ing the Optimal Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of High- Versus Moderate-Intensity Exercise Prescription
Introduction: Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disorder associated
with increased cardiovascular disease risk. Exercise is an effective treatment strategy to
manage symptoms and reduce long-term health risk. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
has been suggested as a more efficient exercise mode in PCOS; however, it is not clear
whether HIIT is superior to moderate intensity steady state exercise (MISS).
Methods: We synthesized available data through a systematic review and meta-analysis
to compare the effectiveness of isolated HIIT and MISS exercise interventions. Our
primary outcome measures were cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin resistance,
measured using VO˙
2max and HOMA-IR respectively.
Results: A total of 16 studies were included. Moderate-quality evidence from 16 studies
identified significant improvements in VO˙
2max following MISS (1 = 1.081 ml/kg/min,
p < 0.001, n = 194), but not HIIT (1 = 0.641 ml/kg/min, p = 0.128, n = 28). Neither
HIIT nor MISS improved HOMA-IR [(1 = −0.257, p = 0.374, n = 60) and (1 = −0.341,
p = 0.078, n = 159), respectively].
Discussion: A significant improvement in VO˙
2max was evident following MISS, but
not HIIT exercise in women with PCOS. This contrasts with previous literature in
healthy and clinical cohorts that report superior benefits of HIIT. Therefore, based on
available moderate-quality evidence, HIIT exercise does not provide superior outcomes
2max compared with MISS, although larger high-quality interventions are needed
to fully address this. Additional dietary/pharmacological interventions may be required in
conjunction with exercise to improve insulin sensitivity.
Published inFrontiers in Physiology
- VoR (Version of Record)
CitationRichards, C.T., Meah, V.L., James, P.E., Rees, D.A. and Lord, R.N. (2021) 'HIIT'ing or MISS'ing the Optimal Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of High-Versus Moderate-Intensity Exercise Prescription', Frontiers in Physiology, p.1259.
Cardiff Met Affiliation
- Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences
Cardiff Met AuthorsCory T. Richards Philip E. James Rachel N. Lord
Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group
- Cardiovascular Metabolism and Inflammation
- © The Authors