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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine