Effect of acute handgrip and aerobic exercise on wasted pressure effort and arterial wave reflections in healthy aging

Aging increases arterial stiffness and wave reflections that augment left ventricular wasted pressure effort (WPE). A single bout of exercise may be effective at acutely reducing WPE via reductions in arterial wave reflections. In young adults (YA) acute aerobic exercise decreases, whereas handgrip increases, wave reflections. Whether acute exercise mitigates or exacerbates WPE and arterial wave reflection in healthy aging warrants further examination. The purpose of this study was to determine if there are age-related differences in WPE and wave reflection during acute handgrip and aerobic exercise. When compared with baseline, WPE increased substantially in older adults (OA) during handgrip (5,219 ± 2,396 vs. 7,019 ± 2,888 mmHg·ms, P < 0.001). When compared with baseline, there was a robust reduction in WPE in OA during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (5,428 ± 2,084 vs. 3,290 ± 1,537 mmHg·ms, P < 0.001), despite absolute WPE remaining higher in OA compared with YA during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (OA 3,290 ± 1,537 vs. YA 1,188 ± 962 mmHg·ms, P < 0.001). There was no change in wave reflection timing indexed to ejection duration in OA during handgrip (40 ± 6 vs. 38 ± 4%, P = 0.41) or moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (40 ± 5 vs. 42 ± 8%, P = 0.99). Conversely, there was an earlier return of wave reflection in YA during handgrip (60 ± 11 vs. 52 ± 6%, P < 0.001) and moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (59 ± 7 vs. 51 ± 9%, P < 0.001). Changes in stroke volume were not different between groups during handgrip (P = 0.08) or aerobic exercise (P = 0.47). The greater increase in WPE during handgrip and decrease in WPE during aerobic exercise suggest that aortic hemodynamic responses to acute exercise are exaggerated with healthy aging without affecting stroke volume. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We demonstrated that acute aerobic exercise attenuated, whereas handgrip augmented, left ventricular hemodynamic load from wave reflections more in healthy older (OA) compared with young adults (YA) without altering stroke volume. These findings suggest an exaggerated aortic hemodynamic response to acute exercise perturbations with aging. They also highlight the importance of considering exercise modality when examining aortic hemodynamic responses to acute exercise in older adults.
This article was originally published in American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. The version of record is available at: https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00133.2023. Copyright © 2023 the American Physiological Society. This article will be embargoed until 10/1/2024.
aging, exercise, wasted pressure effort, wave reflection
Stock, Joseph M., Ninette Shenouda, Nicholas V. Chouramanis, Jordan C. Patik, Christopher R. Martens, William B. Farquhar, Julio A. Chirinos, and David G. Edwards. “Effect of Acute Handgrip and Aerobic Exercise on Wasted Pressure Effort and Arterial Wave Reflections in Healthy Aging.” American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology 325, no. 4 (October 1, 2023): H617–28. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00133.2023.