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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 Jul;83(1):160-5.

Age-related declines in maximal aerobic capacity in regularly exercising vs. sedentary women: a meta-analysis.

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1
Human Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Center for Physical Activity, Disease Prevention, and Aging, Department of Kinesiology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309, Colorado 80262, USA.

Abstract

Our purpose was to determine the relationship between habitual aerobic exercise status and the rate of decline in maximal aerobic capacity across the adult age range in women. A meta-analytic approach was used in which mean maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) values from female subject groups (ages 18-89 yr) were obtained from the published literature. A total of 239 subject groups from 109 studies involving 4,884 subjects met the inclusion criteria and were arbitrarily separated into sedentary (groups = 107; subjects = 2,256), active (groups = 69; subjects = 1, 717), and endurance-trained (groups = 63; subjects = 911) populations. VO2 max averaged 29.7 +/- 7.8, 38.7 +/- 9.2, and 52.0 +/- 10.5 ml . kg-1 . min-1, respectively, and was inversely related to age within each population (r = -0.82 to -0.87, all P < 0.0001). The rate of decline in VO2 max with increasing subject group age was lowest in sedentary women (-3.5 ml . kg-1 . min-1 . decade-1), greater in active women (-4.4 ml . kg-1 . min-1 . decade-1), and greatest in endurance-trained women (-6.2 ml . kg-1 . min-1 . decade-1) (all P < 0.001 vs. each other). When expressed as percent decrease from mean levels at age approximately 25 yr, the rates of decline in VO2 max were similar in the three populations (-10.0 to -10.9%/decade). There was no obvious relationship between aerobic exercise status and the rate of decline in maximal heart rate with age. The results of this cross-sectional study support the hypothesis that, in contrast to the prevailing view, the rate of decline in maximal aerobic capacity with age is greater, not smaller, in endurance-trained vs. sedentary women. The greater rate of decline in VO2 max in endurance-trained populations may be related to their higher values as young adults (baseline effect) and/or to greater age-related reductions in exercise volume; however, it does not appear to be related to a greater rate of decline in maximal heart rate with age.

PMID:
9216959
DOI:
10.1152/jappl.1997.83.1.160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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