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PO-16 Reduced Cardiac Baroreflex Sensitivity is Associated with Greater Aortic Stiffness in Middle-Aged/Older Humans: Beneficial Effect of Habitual Aerobic Exercise

Abstract

Introduction

Sedentary aging is characterized by reduced cardiac barore-flex sensitivity (BRS) and increased aortic stiffness, both independent predictors of higher cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in middle-aged/older (MA/O) adults. However, MA/O adults who perform habitual endurance exercise demonstrate lower CVD risk perhaps in part from reduced aortic stiffness and enhanced cardiac BRS.

Objectives

We hypothesized that reduced BRS (sequence technique derived from intra-brachial artery BP waveforms) is associated with greater aortic stiffness (aortic pulse wave velocity, aPWV) among sedentary and endurance-trained MA/O adults, and that endurance exercise training initiated in previously sedentary MA/O adults enhances BRS and reduces aPWV.

Methods and results

In a cross-sectional study, MA/O sedentary (MA/O-S, n = 24, age 62 ± 4 yrs, VO2max 26 ± 1 ml/kg/min) adults demonstrated reduced BRS (11.7 ± 1.5 vs 40.7 ± 8.6 ms/mmHg, P<0.05) and greater aortic stiffness (aPWV 9.7 ± 0.8 vs. 6.4 ± 0.8 m/sec, P<0.05) compared with young sedentary (YS, n = 6, age 22 ± 2 yrs; VO2max 39 ± 2 ml/kg/min) adults. MA/O endurance-trained (MA/O-T, n = 15, age 61± 2 yrs, VO2max 46 ± 1 ml/kg/ min, P<0.05) adults had greater BRS (24.3 ± 4.0 ms/mmHg) and smaller aPWV (8.0 ± 0.3 m/sec, P<0.05) than MA/O-S. In the entire cohort after adjustment for age and mean blood pressure, aPWV was inversely correlated with BRS (r = -0.55, P<0.05). In a subset of MA/O-S adults (n = 18), 8 weeks of aerobic exercise training (n = 12, 6–7 days/week, 40–45 min/day, 60–80% HRmax) improved BRS (11.7 ± 2.1 vs. 16.1 ± 2.7 ms/mmHg, P<0.05) but not aPWV (9.8 ± 0.8 vs. 9.2 ± 0.9 m/sec, P = 0.08), while there was no change in sedentary time-controls (n = 6, P>0.05).

Conclusions

Habitual aerobic exercise attenuates the age-related reduction in cardiac BRS and greater aortic stiffness in humans. However, short-term aerobic exercise training initiated in MA/O-S adults improves BRS but not aortic stiffness.

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This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Harris, S.A., Stauss, H.M., Seals, D.R. et al. PO-16 Reduced Cardiac Baroreflex Sensitivity is Associated with Greater Aortic Stiffness in Middle-Aged/Older Humans: Beneficial Effect of Habitual Aerobic Exercise. Artery Res 8, 172 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artres.2014.09.022

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artres.2014.09.022