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Acta Diabetol. 2013 Apr;50(2):135-41. doi: 10.1007/s00592-010-0229-x. Epub 2010 Oct 16.

Relationships between maximal oxygen uptake and endothelial function in healthy male adults: a preliminary study.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy. silbus@tin.it


Aerobic capacity, as indicated by maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) has an important role in contrasting the traditional cardiovascular risk factors and preventing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It is known that endothelial function, measured as flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, is strictly linked to atherogenesis and cardiovascular risk. However, the relationship between VO2 max and FMD has not been fully investigated especially in healthy non-obese subjects. This preliminary study cross-sectionally investigated the relationship between VO2 max and FMD in 22 non-obese, healthy sedentary male subjects. Dividing the cohort in two subgroups of 11 subjects each according to the median value of VO2 max, the FMD was significantly lower in the subgroup with lower VO2 max (mean ± sem: 7.1 ± 0.7 vs. 9.5 ± 0.8 %; P = 0.035). Absolute VO2 max (mL min(-1)) was significantly and independently correlated with body fat mass (r = -0.50; P = 0.018) and with FMD (r = 0.44; P = 0.039). This preliminary study suggests that maximal oxygen uptake is independently correlated with endothelial function in healthy non-obese adults. These results are also in agreement with the possibility that improving maximal oxygen uptake may have a favorable effect on endothelial function and vice versa.

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