Clin Res Cardiol 96:Suppl 2 (2007)

P356 - Exercise is a Protective Factor against Arterial Stiffness: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg study
M. R. P. Markus1, J. Stritzke1, W. Lieb1, B. Mayer1, A. Luchner2, A. Döring3, U. Keil4, H.W. Hense4, H. Schunkert1
1Medizinische Klinik II, Kardiologie und Angiologie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck; 2Klinik und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin II, Universitätsklinikum Regensburg, Regensburg; 3Institut für Epidemiologie, GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Neuherberg; 4Institut f. Epidemiologie u. Sozialmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Münster;
Background: Evolving evidence suggests that exercise could attenuate or even revert the continuous increase of arterial stiffness mediated by aging or risk factors like high blood pressure. We aimed to study whether exercise has protective effects on arterial stiffness.
Methods: Subjects (n=882, aged 35 to 84 years), who originated from a gender and age stratified random sample of German residents of the Augsburg area, were examined by standardized applanation tonometry. We defined two groups of individuals, one who practiced sports at least 1 hour per week (exercise group; n = 468) and one who practiced no sports or did at an irregular way (sedentary group; n = 414). We evaluated cross sectionally the adjusted mean values of the augmentation index at heart rate of 75 (AI), the subendocardial viability index (SVI) and the aorta pulse pressure (APP) using linear regression models adjusting for age, sex, fat-free mass, body fat and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Results: Individuals who practiced sports, as compared to sedentary individuals, showed smaller augmentation index at heart rate of 75 (AI, 21.7 [95% CI: 20.9 to 22.5] versus 23.4 [22.6 to 24.2]; p=0.004), larger subendocardial viability index (SVI, 173.8 [171.2 to 176.5] versus 169.6 [166.8 to 172.4]; p=0.033) and no significant difference in aorta pulse pressure (APP).
Conclusions: Regular aerobic-endurance exercise attenuates age-related reductions in central arterial compliance and increases the subendocardial blood flow. This may be two mechanisms by which habitual exercise could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in this population.