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Resting heart rate and the association of physical fitness with carotid artery stiffness


Huynh, HQ and Blizzard, CL and Sharman, JE and Magnussen, CG and Dwyer, T and Raitakari, O and Cheung, M and Venn, AJ, Resting heart rate and the association of physical fitness with carotid artery stiffness, American Journal of Hypertension, 27, (1) pp. 65-71. ISSN 1941-7225 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1093/ajh/hpt161


BACKGROUND: Physical fitness is known to influence arterial stiffness. Resting heart rate is reduced by exercise and positively associated with arterial stiffness. This study aimed to investigate the role of resting heart rate in the relationship of physical fitness with arterial stiffness. METHODS: Subjects were 2,328 young adults from the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study. Cardiorespiratory fitness was estimated as physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 bpm. Muscular strength was estimated by hand-grip (both sides), shoulder (pull and push), and leg strength. Arterial stiffness was measured using carotid ultrasound. RESULTS: Arterial stiffness was negatively associated with cardiorespiratory fitness (men P < 0.001; women P = 0.002), and positively associated with muscular strength in women (P = 0.002) but not in men. Resting heart rate was positively associated with arterial stiffness (P < 0.001 both men and women). Adjustment for resting heart rate reduced the inverse association of arterial stiffness with cardiorespiratory fitness by 93.7% (men) and 67.6% (women) but substantially increased the positive association of arterial stiffness with muscular strength among women and revealed a positive association of arterial stiffness with muscular strength among men. These findings were independent of body size, blood pressure, biochemical markers, socioeconomic status, smoking, and alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings attribute a key intermediary role for resting heart rate in the relationship between fitness and arterial stiffness, whereby higher cardiorespiratory fitness may reduce arterial stiffness mainly through resting heart rate, and higher muscular strength might have deleterious effects on arterial stiffness that are partially offset by lower resting heart rate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:blood pressure, carotid, elasticity, fitness, heart rate, hypertension, strength
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Huynh, HQ (Dr Quan Huynh)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, CL (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Sharman, JE (Professor James Sharman)
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:87082
Year Published:2014 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-11-07
Last Modified:2020-03-23
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