How the volume and format of physical activity alters the risk of arterial stiffening in young healthy individuals
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Abstract: Evidence suggests that the cardio-protective effects of physical activity may be mediated through beneficial effects on vascular function, in particular arterial stiffening. While the beneficial effects of general physical activity in CVD risk are irrefutable, data concerning arterial stiffness risk associated with specific forms of exercise i.e. aerobic/anaerobic is limited. Objectives: We hypothesised that physical activity is negatively associated with arterial stiffness, whereby active youth would display lesser degrees of arterial stiffness than their less active sedentary peers. Furthermore, to help exclude inequalities in the literature, determine what exercise form carries less association with stiffening. Methods: 24 young healthy male and female (mean aerobic age 2l.06 Mean anaerobic age 22.0), normotensive (mean aerobic peripheral blood pressure 127/76mmHg, mean anaerobic 130/72mmHg) non-obese (mean body mass index aerobic 23.2, anaerobic 25.3) aerobic and anaerobic participants were recruited, and assessed non-invasively using the 'gold standard' technique- Applanation Tonometry. The subjects were assigned to one of the three groups based on their hours of activity per week: sedentary (<1 hour) moderately active (1-3 hours) or highly active (>3hours). All three groups performed a one off VO2 max test, and underwent arterial stiffness measurements. Results: participants showed a weak positive relationship between activity level and VO2 max (P =.314), likewise between VO2 max and augmentation index (P=.347). There was insignificant differences between sedentary and moderately active behaviours against Alx (P=.587) and sedentary and highly active behaviours against AIx (P=.783), likewise between augmentation index and aerobic/anaerobic forms of exercise (P=.171). Conclusion: There was some evidence to suggest that being sedentary will increase your susceptibility to premature arterial stiffening in normotensive young individuals when compared to more active peers. The anaerobic group proved to carry the advantage over the aerobic group when determining risk, but we cannot exclude the possibility that certain criteria in this study lead to this conclusion, and further investigation with more strict procedures is needed to compare it to others studies.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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