Physical activity duration, intensity, and arterial stiffening in postmenopausal women
ABSTRACT Aerobic exercise training is associated with lower central arterial stiffness, but little information exists on the effects of physical activity intensity or duration on central arterial stiffness. Using a cross-sectional and interventional approach, we tested the hypothesis that both moderate and vigorous physical activity reduce central arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.
Carotid arterial stiffness (via ultrasound and applanation tonometry) and duration of physical activity at low, moderate, and vigorous intensities (via electronic accelerometer) were measured in 103 apparently healthy sedentary or recreationally active women 47 to 82 years of age. Moderate intensity physical activity was defined as 4.0 to 6.0 metabolic equivalents (MET) in subjects aged <65 years and as 3.0 to 5.0 MET in subjects >or=65 years. A subgroup of 17 sedentary subjects was randomly assigned to moderate (n = 8) or vigorous (n = 9) intensity cycling exercise training (900 kcal/week, three to five sessions per week, for 12 weeks). Carotid arterial stiffness was measured before and after training.
Carotid beta-stiffness index was significantly correlated with the duration of moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity (r = -0.25 and r = -0.22) even after adjustment for age, height, and mean BP. Carotid beta-stiffness index significantly decreased after moderate and vigorous intensity cycling training. There were no significant group differences in the magnitude of beta-stiffness index change even after adjustment for expected confounders (eg, baseline beta-stiffness index, height, body mass index, heart rate, and post-training body mass, body mass index, and mean BP).
These results suggest that both moderate and vigorous physical activities have favorable effects on central arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.
SourceAvailable from: Vasilios Gabriel Athyros12/2013; 1(1):51-72. DOI:10.3390/diseases1010051
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ABSTRACT: The importance of regular physical activity in essential hypertension has been extensively investigated over the last decades and has emerged as a major modifiable factor contributing to optimal blood pressure control. Aerobic exercise exerts its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system by promoting traditional cardiovascular risk factor regulation, as well as by favorably regulating sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, molecular effects, cardiac, and vascular function. Benefits of resistance exercise need further validation. On the other hand, acute exercise is now an established trigger of acute cardiac events. A number of possible pathophysiological links have been proposed, including SNS, vascular function, coagulation, fibrinolysis, and platelet function. In order to fully interpret this knowledge into clinical practice, we need to better understand the role of exercise intensity and duration in this pathophysiological cascade and in special populations. Further studies in hypertensive patients are also warranted in order to clarify the possibly favorable effect of antihypertensive treatment on exercise-induced effects.American Journal of Hypertension 10/2014; DOI:10.1093/ajh/hpu203 · 3.40 Impact Factor