The numbers of “old-old” and “young-old” adults (age ≥75 y [years] and 65-74 y, respectively) are now about the same, but less is known about the physiological characteristics such as arterial stiffness in old-old adults, especially those aged >85 y. Therefore, the present cross-sectional observational study aimed to determine the characteristics of blood pressure (BP), arterial stiffness, and physical fitness among 559 (male, n = 213; female, n = 346) Japanese community dwellers aged >65 y in Osaka and Kawakami Village, Nara. BP and arterial stiffness were measured in the supine position using a semi-automated device. Physical fitness was assessed by measuring handgrip strength and walking speed, as well as findings of the sit-and-reach and pegboard tests. Values for systolic BP, mean BP, and arterial stiffness were significantly higher in the old-old than young-old community dwellers. Trends in BP and arterial stiffness significantly increased, whereas those of physical fitness significantly decreased with age per decade. This is the first study to show that the physiological characteristics of BP, arterial stiffness, and physical fitness in Japanese community-dwelling older adults over 80 y. These novel findings indicate that community-dwelling older adults, especially nonagenarians, can maintain the longevity characteristics of lower arterial stiffness and higher physical fitness such as handgrip strength.
Circulating fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21) has been reported to correlate with development and progression of some chronic diseases including diabetes and obesity. However, the association between circulating FGF21 levels, aerobic fitness, and aortic blood pressure (BP) is still not fully understood. This study aimed to examine potential association between circulating FGF21 levels, aerobic fitness, and aortic BP in 118 middle-aged and older women. Aortic pulse pressure (PP) in the higher FGF21 group was significantly increased when compared to the lower FGF21 group (38.4 ± 1.1 vs. 34.9 ± 0.8 mmHg; P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis found the circulating FGF21 level to be an independent determinant of aortic PP (β = 0.169; P < 0.05); and this finding was also independently determined by VO2peak (β = −0.235; P < 0.01). Such a finding demonstrated that serum FGF21 levels were associated positively with aortic PP and negatively with aerobic fitness. These results have raised the possibility that FGF21 might contribute to an increase in aortic PP, and that the promotion of aerobic fitness might be effective in maintaining low FGF21 levels in middle-aged and older women.
Aerobic exercise prior to resistance training is likely to have a preventive effect on arterial stiffening caused by resistance training alone. The purpose of this study was to examine, as secondary analysis, the effect of aerobic exercise before resistance training on aortic arterial stiffness in older adults. A total of 56 participants were randomized to resistance training (RT) group (n = 28) or aerobic exercise (AE) + RT group (n = 28). All participants attended a supervised exercise training program (RT or AE + RT) twice a week for 12 weeks and were given fortified milk. Arterial stiffness was evaluated by pulse wave velocity (PWV) between carotid and femoral regions (e.g., aorta) and between femoral and ankle regions (e.g., leg). There was no significant difference between the two groups at all baseline measurements. After the intervention, although there was no significant interaction, carotid-femoral PWV was significantly increased only in the RT group (1032 ± 35 vs. 1072 ± 33 cm/sec, P < 0.05). Femoral-ankle PWV was not significantly changed in either group. Our findings reveal that resistance training significantly increases aortic arterial stiffness (carotid-femoral PWV); however, aerobic exercise before resistance training attenuates the aortic arterial stiffening in older adults. These results suggest that aerobic exercise before resistance training is likely to prevent the unfavorable effects of resistance training on vascular health in older adults.
Exaggerated blood pressure responses to aerobic and resistance exercise are associated with future cardiovascular disease. However, it remains unclear whether the excessive blood pressure responses induce these degenerative changes or are just an initial symptom of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that exaggerated blood pressure responses to exercise and activities of daily living decrease vascular endothelial function and increase arterial stiffness. We investigated aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV, an index of arterial stiffness), blood pressure and heart rate at rest, during dynamic resistance (leg press) exercise and during 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), one–repetition maximum of leg press exercise, maximal oxygen uptake and conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as serum cholesterol concentrations in 36 middle-aged and older individuals (mean age, 61.0 ± 1.3 years). Systolic blood pressure (SBP) during resistance exercise was correlated with aortic PWV, independent of resting SBP (partial r = 0.399). In the stepwise regression analysis, SBP during resistance exercise, age, body mass index, and 24-h ambulatory heart rate were used as significant predictors of aortic PWV, independent of other variables (R2 = 0.722). Additionally, 24-h ambulatory SBP was correlated with SBP during resistance exercise (r = 0.513) and aortic PWV (r = 0.472). In conclusion, these results suggest that SBP during resistance exercise is an independent predictor of arterial stiffness. Repeated excessive rises in blood pressure during resistance exercise and activities of daily living may increase arterial stiffness.
This study aimed to examine blood pressure (BP) response in sitting (daytime only) and supine positions for 24 h after moderate endurance exercise in the morning and afternoon in healthy and normotensive young men. Nine men with a moderate fitness level ran at 68%-69% maximal oxygen uptake for 30 min at 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Arterial BP was measured hourly for 24 h after each exercise and each control experiment. The positions during the measurement were supine during nighttime, and supine and sitting during daytime (7:00 AM-11:00 PM). The Profile of Mood States (POMS) test was performed before the sitting measurement. Post-exercise systolic BP (SBP) in the supine position decreased by 2-3 mmHg on average for 24 h in both exercise conditions compared to the control condition (p < 0.05). In both exercise conditions, the post-exercise SBP decrease tended to be smaller in the sitting than in the supine position, and a greater SBP decrease in the sitting position tended to relate linearly with a greater fatigue score increase. We conclude that, in young normotensive men, a bout of moderate endurance exercise both in the morning and afternoon decreases SBP in the supine position by a few mmHg on average over 24 h. In addition, post-exercise BP response during daytime appeared to vary with posture and relate to fatigue sensation.
An exercise regimen rarely causes organ damage in humans or rats with established essential hypertension. However, daily exercise is essential for elderly people to prolong a healthy lifespan. This study was designed to examine the effects of exercise training alone and the combined treatment of exercise and anti-hypertensive medication on morphological characteristics of the heart and kidneys, as well as to examine the response to pressor agents in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). SHRs were divided into the following four groups and control group: the voluntary wheel running exercise (SHR-Ex), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I), captopril (Capt) administration (SHR-Capt), Capt administration and exercise (SHR-Capt & Ex), and sedentary control (SHR-Sed) groups. Wister-Kyoto (WKY) rats were also used and divided into either exercise (WKY-Ex) or sedentary control (WKY-Sed) groups. These treatments were conducted from 8 to 23 weeks of age. Approximately 20 mg/kg/day of Capt dissolved in tap water was given daily in Capt-treated animals. After the treatment period, both the SHR-Sed and SHR-Ex groups exhibited hypertension, hyperpressor responsiveness, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyocyte fibrosis, and renal hypertrophy, accompanied by an enlargement of glomerular and mesangial areas. On the other hand, the Capt-treated SHR groups showed an inhibition of blood pressure elevation, no organ damage, and suppression of pressor responsivity to levels comparable to those of the normotensive WKY rats. The present results suggest that a combined treatment with exercise and an ACE-I such as Capt is recommended for middle-aged and elderly essential hypertensive patients to avoid secondary risks of cardiovascular related diseases induced by exercise alone.