Estimated aortic stiffness is independently associated with cardiac baroreflex sensitivity in humans: Role of ageing and habitual endurance exercise

G. L. Pierce, S. A. Harris, D. R. Seals, D. P. Casey, P. B. Barlow, H. M. Stauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We hypothesised that differences in cardiac baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) would be independently associated with aortic stiffness and augmentation index (AI), clinical biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk, among young sedentary and middle-Aged/older sedentary and endurance-Trained adults. A total of 36 healthy middle-Aged/older (age 55-76 years, n=22 sedentary and n=14 endurance-Trained) and 5 young sedentary (age 18-31 years) adults were included in a cross-sectional study. A subset of the middle-Aged/older sedentary adults (n=12) completed an 8-week-Aerobic exercise intervention. Invasive brachial artery blood pressure waveforms were used to compute spontaneous cardiac BRS (via sequence technique), estimated aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) and AI (AI, via brachial-Aortic transfer function and wave separation analysis). In the cross-sectional study, cardiac BRS was 71% lower in older compared with young sedentary adults (P<0.05), but only 40% lower in older adults who performed habitual endurance exercise (P=0.03). In a regression model that included age, sex, resting heart rate, mean arterial pressure (MAP), body mass index and maximal exercise oxygen uptake, estimated aortic PWV (β±s.e.=-5.76±2.01, P=0.01) was the strongest predictor of BRS (model R 2 =0.59, P<0.001). The 8-week-exercise intervention improved BRS by 38% (P=0.04) and this change in BRS was associated with improved aortic PWV (r=-0.65, P=0.044, adjusted for changes in MAP). Age-and endurance-exercise-related differences in cardiac BRS are independently associated with corresponding alterations in aortic PWV among healthy adults, consistent with a mechanistic link between variations in the sensitivity of the baroreflex and aortic stiffness with age and exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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