The present study characterized large-artery properties in patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) and determined the efficacy of exercise training in modifying these properties. Twenty patients (10 male and 10 female) with stage I ISH and 20 age- and gender-matched control subjects were recruited, and large-artery properties were assessed noninvasively. Ten ISH patients (5 male and 5 female) were enrolled in a randomized crossover study comparing 8 weeks of moderate intensity cycling with 8 weeks of sedentary activity. Brachial and carotid systolic, diastolic, mean, and pulse pressures were higher in the ISH group than in the control group. Systemic arterial compliance (0.43±0.04 versus 0.29±0.02 arbitrary compliance units for the control versus ISH groups, respectively; P=0.01) was lower, and carotid-to-femoral pulse-wave velocity (9.67±0.36 versus 11.43±0.51 m · s-1 for the control versus ISH groups, respectively; P=0.007), input impedance (2.39±0.19 versus 3.27±0.34 mm Hg · s · cm-1 for the control versus ISH groups, respectively; P=0.04), and characteristic impedance (1.67±0.17 versus 2.34±0.27 mm Hg · s · cm-1 for the control versus ISH groups, respectively; P=0.05) were higher in the ISH group than in the control group. Training increased maximal oxygen consumption by 13±5% (P=0.04) and maximum workload by 8±4% (P=0.05); however, there was no effect on arterial mechanical properties, blood lipids, or left ventricular mass or function. These results suggest that the large-artery stiffening associated with ISH is resistant to modification through short-term aerobic training.
- Hypertension, isolated systolic