RESEARCH ARTICLE


Acute and Chronic Impact of Dynamic Exercise on Arterial Stiffness in Older Hypertensives



Kunihiko Aizawa1, 2, Robert J Petrella*, 1, 2, 3
1 Aging, Rehabilitation, & Geriatric Care Research Centre of the Lawson Health Research Institute at Parkwood Hospi-tal
2 School of Kinesiology
3 Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada


2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Beryl & Richard Ivey Research Chair, Aging, Rehabilitation, & Geriatric Care Research Centre of the Lawson Health Research Institute at Parkwood Hospital, 801 Commissioners Rd. E., London, ON, N6C 5J1, Canada; Tel: 519-685-4292 ex. 42983; Fax: 519-685-4060; E-mail: petrella@uwo.ca


Abstract

Arterial stiffness increases with ageing and hypertension. Regular physical activity has been recommended as an important management component of hypertension. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute impact of maximal dynamic exercise and the effect of 20 weeks of aerobic exercise on arterial stiffness of the carotid and brachial arteries in older hypertensives. Nine previously sedentary and treated older hypertensives (2 men and 7 women, age 68.2 ± 5.4 yrs) performed maximal treadmill exercise to volitional fatigue while arterial stiffness indices (arterial distensibility and β stiffness index) were measured prior to, immediately (about 10 min) following, and 24 h following maximal exercise. These measurements were repeated following 20 weeks of moderate intensity aerobic exercise training. Maximal exercise had no impact on arterial stiffness indices immediately and 24 h following exercise intervention. Following 20 weeks of training, arterial stiffness indices remained unchanged at rest and following maximal exercise. These data show that, in older hypertensives, 1) acute maximal dynamic exercise had no impact on arterial stiffness of the carotid and brachial arteries, and 2) 20 weeks of moderate intensity aerobic exercise training failed to modify arterial stiffness.

Keywords: Hypertension, exercise, elderly, arterial stiffness.