Differences in cardiovascular responses to isoproterenol in relation to age and exercise training in healthy men.
BACKGROUND Cardiac aging is characterized by a reduced heart rate response to beta-agonist stimulation with isoproterenol, but whether the ejection fraction and other cardiovascular responses are reduced in humans is largely unknown. In addition, whether reduced beta-agonist responses can be improved with exercise training has not been determined in humans.
METHODS AND RESULTS Cardiovascular responses to graded isoproterenol infusions (3.5, 7, 14, and 35 ng/kg/min for 14 minutes each) were assessed in 15 older (age, 60-82 years) and 17 young (age, 24-32 years) rigorously screened healthy men. Thirteen older and 11 young subjects completed 6 months of endurance training and were retested. At baseline, the older group had reduced responses to isoproterenol for heart rate (+65% older versus +92% young, p less than 0.001), systolic blood pressure (+9% versus +24%, p less than 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (-12% versus -24%, p less than 0.05), ejection fraction (+12 versus +20 ejection fraction units, p less than 0.001), and cardiac output (+70% versus +100%, p less than 0.001). The mean plasma isoproterenol concentrations achieved during the infusions were marginally higher (p = 0.07) in the older group (128 +/- 58, 227 +/- 64, 354 +/- 114, and 700 +/- 125 pg/ml) than in the young (79 +/- 20, 178 +/- 49, 273 +/- 79, and 571 +/- 139 pg/ml). Intensive training increased maximal oxygen consumption by 21% in the older group (28.9 +/- 4.6 to 35.1 +/- 3.8 ml/kg/min, p less than 0.001) and by 17% in the young (44.5 +/- 5.1 to 52.1 +/- 6.3 ml/kg/min, p less than 0.001), but training did not augment any of the cardiovascular responses to isoproterenol in either group. The mean plasma isoproterenol concentrations at the four infusion doses were unchanged after training in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that there is an age-associated decline in heart rate, blood pressure, ejection fraction, and cardiac output responses to beta-adrenergic stimulation with isoproterenol in healthy men. Altered beta-adrenergic responses probably contribute to the reduced cardiac responses to maximal exercise that also occur with aging. Furthermore, intensive exercise training does not increase cardiac responses to beta-adrenergic stimulation with isoproterenol in either young or older men. The reduced beta-adrenergic response appears to be a primary age-associated change that is not caused by disease or inactivity.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association