Acute effects of a mixed meal on arterial stiffness and central hemodynamics in healthy adults

Jennifer L. Taylor, Timothy B. Curry, Luke J. Matzek, Michael J. Joyner, Darren P. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background:Elevated central pressures and arterial stiffness are associated with increased peripheral resistance and higher sympathetic nervous system activity. Additionally, consumption of a meal is known to be sympathoexcitatory. However, the acute effects of a meal on aortic wave reflection and stiffness are unknown. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that aortic wave reflection and stiffness would increase after a meal.Methods:We examined these effects using high-fidelity radial arterial pressure waveforms and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity measured noninvasively by applanation tonometry before and 60 and 180 minutes after ingestion of a liquid mixed meal (Ensure; 40% of daily energy expenditure) in 17 healthy adults (9 men/8 women; aged 29±2 years). Additionally, we measured sympathetic activity by microneurography at baseline and up to 60 minutes after the meal.Results:Although sympathetic activity increased after the meal, both peripheral and central pressures were reduced at 180 minutes from baseline (all P < 0.05). Contrary to our hypothesis, augmentation index (14% ± 3% vs. 2% ± 3% vs. 8% ± 3%), augmentation index normalized for heart rate (8% ± 3% vs.-3% ± 3% vs. 3% ± 3%), augmented pressure (5±1mm Hg vs. 1±1mm Hg vs. 3±1mm Hg), and pulse wave velocity (7.1±0.2 m/s vs. 6.7±0.2 m/s vs. 6.7±0.1 m/s) were substantially reduced at 60 and 180 minutes after the meal (all P < 0.05).Conclusions:Taken together, our Results: suggest that a liquid mixed meal acutely decreases central hemodynamics and arterial stiffness in healthy adults, which may be a result of meal-related increases in insulin and/or visceral vasodilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • aortic pressure
  • blood pressure
  • hypertension
  • mixed meal
  • pulse wave velocity
  • sympathetic nerve activity
  • wave reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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