Investigation into the Relationship between Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Physical Activity, and Arterial Stiffness
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Introduction Arterial compliance plays an important role in cardiovascular disease morbidity (CVD) and mortality. Two important risk factors identified as determinants of arterial stiffness involve low physical activity and poor cardiorespiratory fitness. Extensive research supports the statement that exercise helps lower arterial stiffness thus helping to lower the risk of CVD. In view of these considerations the purpose of this study is to investigate the associations, between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), physical activity, and arterial stiffness with the aims to determine the effect of both CRF and physical activity on arterial stiffness and establish whether one measure is more suitable in establishing a strong relationship. Methods 23 healthy subjects both male and female were examined with physical activity being assessed by a modified ‘International Physical Activity Questionnaire’ and CRF being assessed using an incremental treadmill VO2 maximal test. Height, blood pressure, augmentation index through pulse wave analysis (SphygmoCor AtCor Medical) were all assessed. Results CRF was found to negatively correlate with AIx adjusted for heart rate at 75 (r= -0.240; P= 0.282) whereas physical activity was found to positively correlate with AIx adjusted for heart rate at 75 (r= 0.866; P= 0.626). Conclusion Relationships with arterial stiffness as measured by augmentation index in both cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity were found to be of no significant difference possibly suggesting that hereditary factors may have an influence upon an individual’s VO2 Max, arterial compliance and in turn cardiovascular risk no matter how often the individual exercises. The data to show which measure, CRF or physical activity was the more suitable for possibly reducing arterial stiffness was unfortunately unclear and not shown as neither measure established a stronger relationship indicating to be the more appropriate measure.
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