Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007-06-01)


  • Anette S. Fjeldstad,
  • Debra Bemben

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 2
pp. 250 – 253


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The purpose of this study was to compare large and small arterial elasticity in apparently healthy sedentary and recreationally active adult women, and to examine if age affects large and small arterial elasticity. This cross-sectional study consisted of 43 premenopausal women without overt cardiovascular disease (age = 43.4 ± 4.7 yrs; mean ± SD). The subjects were grouped into a sedentary group or a leisurely active group (30 min, 3d wk of low intensity) in addition to the following age groups: 35-40 years, n = 13; 41-45 years, n = 14; 46-54 years, n = 16. Subjects rested supine while pulse contour analysis was measured from the radial artery using an HDI/Pulsewave CR-2000 instrument (Hypertension Diagnostic, Inc.) to examine arterial elasticity in the large and small arteries. Activity level and menopausal status was based on self-report. There were no differences in large (14.5 ± 1.0 ml/mmHg x 10; 14.9 ± 0.9 ml/mmHg x 10; mean ± SD) and small (5.5 ± 0.5 ml/mmHg x 100; 6.4 ± 0.4 ml/mmHg x 100) arterial elasticity between the sedentary group and the recreationally active group, respectively. Large (12.8 ± 0.9 ml/mmHg x 10) arterial elasticity was lower in the oldest group (p = 0.008) compared to the youngest group (17.6 ± 5.9 ml/mmHg x 10). After adjusting for body mass index, large arterial elasticity (p = 0.022) remained lower in the oldest group. There was a trend for small arterial elasticity to be lower in the older group compared to the young group (p = 0.063). There was no difference in large and small arterial elasticity between healthy sedentary and recreationally active premenopausal women. This suggests that more strenuous physical activity may be necessary to gain beneficial effects on the vasculature. Large arterial elasticity is decreasing with advancing age independent of body mass index