Expanded blood volumes contribute to the increased cardiovascular performance of endurance-trained older men

James M. Hagberg, Andrew P. Goldberg, Loretta Lakatta, Frances C. O'Connor, Lewis C. Becker, Edward G. Lakatta, Jerome L. Fleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


To determine whether expanded intravascular volumes contribute to the older athlete's higher exercise stroke volume and maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O(2max)), we measured peak upright cycle ergometry cardiac volumes 99mTc ventriculography) and plasma (125I-labeled albumin) and red cell (NaCr51) volumes in 7 endurance-trained and 12 age-matched lean sedentary men. The athletes had ~40% higher V̇O(2max) values than did the sedentary men and larger relative plasma (46 vs. 38 ml/kg), red cell (30 vs. 26 ml/kg), and total blood volumes (76 vs. 64 ml/kg) (all P < 0.05). Athletes had larger peak cycle ergometer exercise stroke volume indexes (75 vs. 57 ml/m2, P < 0.05) and 17% larger end-diastolic volume indexes. In the total group, V̇O(2max) correlated with plasma, red cell, and total blood volumes (r = 0.61-0.70, P < 0.01). Peak exercise stroke volume was correlated directly with the blood volume variables (r = 0.59-0.67, P < 0.01). Multiple regression analyses showed that fat-free mass and plasma or total blood volume, but not red cell volume, were independent determinants of V̇O(2max) and peak exercise stroke volume. Plasma and total blood volumes correlated with the stroke volume and end-diastolic volume changes from rest to peak exercise. This suggests that expanded intravascular volumes, particularly plasma and total blood volumes, contribute to the higher peak exercise left ventricular end-diastolic volume, stroke volume, and cardiac output and hence the higher VO(2max) in master athletes by eliciting both chronic volume overload and increased utilization of the Frank-Starling effect during exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-489
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • Body composition
  • Cardiac output
  • Plasma volume
  • Red cell volume
  • Stroke volume
  • Total blood volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Expanded blood volumes contribute to the increased cardiovascular performance of endurance-trained older men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this