Resistive and elastic work of breathing in older and younger adults during exercise

Joshua R. Smith, Troy J. Cross, Erik H. Van Iterson, Bruce David Johnson, Thomas P Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is unknown whether the greater total work of breathing (WOB) with aging is due to greater elastic and/or resistive WOB. We hypothesized that older compared with younger adults would exhibit a greater total WOB at matched ventilations (V E) during graded exercise, secondary to greater inspiratory resistive and elastic as well as expiratory resistive WOB. Older (OA: 60 8 yr; n 9) and younger (YA: 38 7 yr; n 9) adults performed an incremental cycling test to volitional fatigue. Esophageal pressure, inspiratory (IRV) and expiratory reserve volumes (ERV), expiratory flow limitation (EFL), and ventilatory variables were measured at matched V E (i.e., 25, 50, and 75 l/min) during exercise. The inspiratory resistive and elastic as well as expiratory resistive WOB were quantified using the Otis method. At V E of 75 l/min, older adults had greater %EFL and larger tidal volumes to inspiratory capacity but smaller relative IRV (P 0.03) than younger adults. Older compared with younger adults had greater total WOB at V E of 50 and 75 l/min (OA: 90 43 vs. YA: 49 21 J/min; P 0.04 for both). At V E of 75 l/min, older adults had greater inspiratory elastic and resistive WOB (OA: 44 27 vs. YA: 24 22 and OA: 23 15 vs. YA: 11 3 J/min, respectively, P 0.03 for both) and expiratory resistive WOB (OA: 23 19 vs. YA: 14 9 J/min, P 0.02) than younger adults. These data demonstrate that aging-induced pulmonary alterations result in greater inspiratory elastic and resistive as well as expiratory resistive WOB, which may have implications for the integrated response during exercise. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Aging-induced changes to the pulmonary system result in increased work of breathing (WOB) during exercise. However, it is not known whether this higher WOB with aging is due to differences in elastic and/or resistive WOB. Herein, we demonstrate that older adults exhibited greater inspiratory elastic and resistive as well as expiratory resistive WOB during exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume125
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Aging
  • Dynamic lung compliance
  • Mechanical constraints
  • Operating lung volumes
  • Work of breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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