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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Jan;27(1):113-20.

Changes in aerobic power of men, ages 25-70 yr.

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Cardiopulmonary Laboratory, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, NASA/Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058.


This study quantified and compared the cross-sectional and longitudinal influence of age, self-report physical activity (SR-PA), and body composition (%fat) on the decline of maximal aerobic power (VO2peak). The cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,499 healthy men ages 25-70 yr. The 156 men of the longitudinal sample were from the same population and examined twice, the mean time between tests was 4.1 (+/- 1.2) yr. Peak oxygen uptake was determined by indirect calorimetry during a maximal treadmill exercise test. The zero-order correlations between VO2peak and %fat (r = -0.62) and SR-PA (r = 0.58) were significantly (P < 0.05) higher that the age correlation (r = -0.45). Linear regression defined the cross-sectional age-related decline in VO2peak at 0.46 Multiple regression analysis (R = 0.79) showed that nearly 50% of this cross-sectional decline was due to %fat and SR-PA, adding these lifestyle variables to the multiple regression model reduced the age regression weight to -0.26 Statistically controlling for time differences between tests, general linear models analysis showed that longitudinal changes in aerobic power were due to independent changes in %fat and SR-PA, confirming the cross-sectional results.

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