Age-related changes in cardiac and vascular function are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The aim of the present study was to define the effect of age on the relationship between cardiac and vascular function. Haemodynamic and gas exchange measurements were performed at rest and peak exercise in healthy individuals. Augmentation index was measured at rest. Cardiac power output, a measure of overall cardiac function, was calculated as the product of cardiac output and mean arterial blood pressure. Augmentation index was significantly higher in older than younger participants (27.7 ± 10.1 vs. 2.5 ± 10.1%, P < 0.01). Older people demonstrated significantly higher stroke volume and mean arterial blood pressure (P < 0.05), but lower heart rate (145 ± 13 vs. 172 ± 10 beats/min, P < 0.01) and peak oxygen consumption (22.5 ± 5.2 vs. 41.2 ± 8.4 ml/kg/min, P < 0.01). There was a significant negative relationship between augmentation index and peak exercise cardiac power output (r = −0.73, P = 0.02) and cardiac output (r = −0.69, P = 0.03) in older participants. Older people maintain maximal cardiac function due to increased stroke volume. Vascular function is a strong predictor of overall cardiac function in older but in not younger people.
Bibliographical note© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- Cardiac function
- Vascular function
- Exercise test