Cardiorespiratory responses and myocardial function within incremental exercise in healthy unmedicated older vs. young men and women.
The aim of the present investigation was to assess the role of aging on the contribution of diastolic function during metaboreflex activation. In particular, it aimed to determine whether age-related impairment in diastolic function would produce a different hemodynamic response in elderly subjects (EG) as compared to young controls (CTL). Hemodynamic response to metaboreflex activation obtained by post-exercise muscle ischemia (PEMI) was gathered in 22 EG and 20 healthy CTL. Subjects also performed a control exercise recovery (CER) test to compare data from the PEMI test. The main results showed that the EG group reached higher mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) increment than the CTL group during the PEMI test (+11.2 ± 8.6 vs 6.1 ± 6.4 mmHg in the EG and CTL group, respectively). Moreover, the mechanism by which this response was achieved was different between the two groups. In detail, EG reached the target MAP by increasing systemic vascular resistance (+235.2 ± 315.1 vs −44.4 ± 167.7 dynes s−1 cm−5 for the EG and the CTL group, respectively), whereas MAP response in the CTL was the result of an increase in cardiac pre-load (−1.5 ± 11.2 vs 14 ± 13.7 ml in end-diastolic volume for the EG and the CTL group, respectively), which led to a rise in stroke volume and cardiac output. Moreover, early filling peak velocities showed a higher response in the CTL than EG group. This study demonstrates that diastolic function is important for normal hemodynamic adjustment during the metaboreflex and to avoid excessive vasoconstriction.