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Am J Hypertens. 2017 Nov 1;30(11):1069-1072. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpx145.

Effect of Exercise on Arterial Stiffness: Is There a Ceiling Effect?

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Whether arterial stiffness (AS) can be improved by regular exercise in healthy individuals remains equivocal according to cross-sectional and longitudinal studies assessing arterial properties at discrete time points. The purpose of the present study was to pinpoint the time course of training-induced adaptations in central AS.

METHODS:

Aorta characteristic impedance (Zc) and carotid distensibility (CD) were determined with ultrasonography prior to (week 0) and across 8 weeks (weeks 2, 4, and 8) of supervised endurance training (ET) (3 × 60 minutes cycle ergometry sessions per week), in 9 previously untrained healthy normotensive adults (27 ± 4 years) with no history of cardiovascular disease. Exercise capacity was assessed by maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) elicited by incremental ergometry.

RESULTS:

VO2max increased throughout the ET intervention (+12% from week 0 to week 8, P < 0.001, P for linear trend <0.001). Systolic blood pressure rose with ET (+7% from week 0 to week 8, P = 0.019, P for linear trend <0.001). Aorta Zc augmented from week 0 to week 8 of ET in all individuals (+38%, P = 0.003, P for linear trend = 0.002). CD did not significantly differ among time points (P = 0.196) although a linear decreasing trend was detected (P = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS:

Central AS augments during a conventional ET intervention that effectively enhances aerobic exercise capacity in young individuals. This suggests that normal, healthy elastic arteries are not amendable to improvement unless impairment is present.

KEYWORDS:

aorta characteristic impedance; blood pressure; ceiling effect; common carotid distensibility; hypertension

PMID:
28985267
DOI:
10.1093/ajh/hpx145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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