Effects of resistance training on vascular function in middle-aged women.
Ben Kantura, Yu Lun Tai, Curtis Fennell, & J. Derek Kingsley
PROBLEM: Aging is associated with increases in peripheral and central aortic blood pressure (BP) due to declines in vascular health. Researchers have suggested that resistance training (RT) may improve vascular function in older adults, but the data in middle-aged women are lacking. METHODS: Sixteen young (mean±SD; Age: 21±2 yrs; BMI: 24.1±3.8kg/m2) and thirty-two middle-aged (Age: 50±11 yrs; BMI: 30.1±5.9kg/m2) women volunteered for the study. The middle-aged women underwent 12-weeks of RT using 9 different exercises, 2 times per week, using 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions beginning at 50-60% 1 repetition maximum. Pulse wave reflection characteristics were evaluated using applanation tonometry. RESULTS: Before RT the young women had lower brachial diastolic blood pressure (BP) (YW: 72±8mmHg; MW: 80±9mmHg, p≤0.005), aortic systolic BP (YW: 98±10mmHg; MW: 111±16mmHg, p≤0.003) and aortic diastolic BP (YW: 73±8mmHg; MW: 81±9mmHg, p≤0.003), and no differences in brachial systolic BP (p=0.333). The young women also had reductions in the augmentation index normalized at 75bpm (YW: -1.3±14.7%; MW: 28.3±6.7%, p≤0.0001), augmentation pressure (YW: 1.6±4.1mmHg; MW: 9.1±4.8mmHg, p≤0.0001), time of the reflected wave (YW: 164±50.1ms; MW: 136.3±9.0ms; p≤0.001) and wasted left ventricular energy (YW: 357.8±39.9dynes s/cm2; MW: 1616.7±1063.5 dynes s/cm2, p≤0.0001). There were no effects of RT on any of the variables in the middle-aged women. CONCLUSIONS: These data support the notion that aging decreases pulse wave reflection characteristics in women. In addition, these data also suggest that RT for 12-weeks is unable to alter brachial BP, aortic BP, or pulse wave reflection characteristics.