Enhanced endothelial vasoreactivity in endurance-trained older men

Tomasz M. Rywik, Marc R. Blackman, Alberto R. Yataco, Peter V. Vaitkevicius, Richard C. Zink, Ernest H. Cottrell, Jeanette G. Wright, Leslie I. Katzel, Jerome L. Fleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using external vascular ultrasound, we measured brachial artery diameter (Diam) at rest, after release of 4 min of limb ischemia, i.e., endothelium- dependent dilation (EDD), and after sublingual nitroglycerin, i.e., non- endothelium-dependent dilation (NonEDD), in 35 healthy men aged 61-83 yr: 12 endurance athletes (A) and 23 controls (C). As anticipated, treadmill exercise maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2(max)) was significantly higher in Athan in C (40.2 ± 6.6 vs. 27.9 ± 3.8 ml · kg-1 · min-1; respectively, P < 0.0001). With regard to arterial physiology, A had greater EDD (8.9 ± 4.2 vs. 5.7 ± 3.5%; P = 0.02) and a tendency for higher NonEDD (13.9 ± 6.7 vs. 9.7 ± 4.2%; P = 0.07) compared with C. By multiple linear regression analysis in the combined sample of older men, only baseline Diam (β = -2.0., where β is the regression coefficient; P = 0.005) and VO2(max) (β = 0.23; P = 0.003) were independent predictors of EDD; similarly, only Diam (β = -4.0; P = 0.003) and V̇O2(max) (β = 0.27; P = 0.01) predicted NonEDD. Thus endurance-trained older men demonstrate both augmented EDD and NonEDD, consistent with a generalized enhanced vasodilator responsiveness, compared with their sedentary age peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2136-2142
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Endothelial function
  • Exercise
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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