Abstract 12372: Dose-dependent Relationship between Life-long Exercise Training and Central Arterial Stiffness in the Elderly
Masters athletes who trained 6–7 sessions per week throughout their adult lives maintain youthful arterial compliance, suggesting that regular and intensive exercise training prevents arterial stiffening with aging. However, it is unknown if a lesser amount of life-long training would also be beneficial for vascular aging. The purpose of the study was to examine different doses of life-long exercise training on arterial stiffness in the elderly.
Methods: Elderly individuals (>65 yrs old), who had a consistent exercise history for >25 yrs, were recruited from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which has prospectively followed exercise training patterns for >40 yrs. Subjects were stratified into one of four “Quads” based on their frequency of life-long exercise training (Q1 n=20: <2, Q2 n=15: 2–3, Q3 n=20: 4–5, Q4 n=23: 6–7 sessions/wk). Central arterial stiffness was quantified by central pulse wave velocity (cPWV), systemic arterial stiffness index (SASi, pulse pressure/SV index), and biological aortic age (which reflects a structural component of the aorta without the influence of ambient blood pressure).
Results: SBP and MBP were lower in Q2, 3 and 4 than in Q1. cPWV (Q1: 1162 ±376, Q2: 985±205, Q3: 862±185, Q4: 783±111 cm/s, P<0.001) and SASi (Q1: 1.50±0.41, Q2: 1.19±0.26, Q3: 1.22±0.52, Q4: 0.98±0.23 mmHg/ml/m^2, P<0.001) decreased with increases in the frequency of exercise training. There were no significant differences in Q1, 2 and 3 between biological aortic vs. chronological age, while the aortic age of Q4 was younger than their chronological age (Figure 1). Several subjects in Q2 and 3 showed youthful aortas while none of Q1 did (Figure 1).
Conclusions: Life-long exercise training has a dose-dependent effect on central arterial stiffness as assessed by cPWV or SASi probably due to lower BPs and younger aortas. It appears that preservation of a truly youthful aorta is reliably attained by more frequent or intensive exercise training.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.