DESIGN: A cross-sectional design was used to compare the Doppler studies of sedentary subjects and aerobically trained subjects. The trained subjects were divided into a moderately trained group and a highly trained group.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: One hundred subjects consisting of 50 sedentary control subjects and 50 aerobically trained subjects in a university-based setting. The mean age of the total group of subjects was 36.0+/-8.6 years. Each group had an equal number of male and female subjects. Control subjects were sedentary, with normal vascular risk factor profiles and a mean aerobic capacity (maximum oxygen consumption) of 25.8+/-3.0 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1). Trained subjects were divided into a moderately trained group and a highly trained group. The mean aerobic capacity for the moderately trained group was 46.0+/-4.4 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1), and that for the highly trained group was 63.3+/-6.7 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1). A standard Doppler examination, including ankle pressure index was performed on each subject.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Arterial compliance measurements were recorded by using A-mode Doppler ultrasonography and analyzed by diastolic flow analysis.
RESULTS: Control subjects had a mean arterial compliance level of 21.1%+/-2.5%. The moderately trained subjects had a mean compliance level of 34.8%+/-4.9%, and the highly trained subjects had a mean compliance level of 46.0%+/-6.7%. An analysis of variance was used for this comparison and was significant at a P value of less than .01.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that elevated aerobic fitness levels are associated with an augmentation in arterial compliance. A linear relationship existed in our data between aerobic fitness levels and arterial compliance. This study suggests that enhanced arterial compliance is another beneficial cardioprotective effect associated with aerobic training.
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