eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 13
Letter to the Editor

Influence of half marathon race on aortic stiffness in amateur runners

Marzena Staniszewska, Artur Pudło, Andrzej Pawlik

Arch Med Sci 2017; 13, 4: 962–964
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Physical activity affects the condition of the cardiovascular system. Regular exercise has been suggested to delay or prevent an increase in arterial stiffness [1], which is an independent marker of coronary atherosclerosis and a predictor parameter of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality [2]. However, high-intensity aerobic exercise causes systemic vascular remodeling that shifts the effect of aerobic exercise from cardioprotective to atherogenic and increases the risk of coronary heart disease [3].
A new method for determining approved indicators of cardiovascular risk is the oscillometric method, which evaluates pulse wave velocity (PWV) and central aortic pressure [4]. This method allows evaluation of elastic properties of the aorta on the basis of PWV and pulse wave reflection expressed as the aortic augmentation index (AIx) and pulse pressure amplification (PPA). These parameters are valuable for cardiovascular risk evaluation [5].
Aerobic, extremely vigorous exercise is a special challenge for cardiovascular system adaptation. Still there is insufficient knowledge about the temporary response of the vascular wall to hyperkinetic circulation. We decided to evaluate the hemodynamic response of the cardiovascular system to a half marathon race in amateur runners, in particular for the estimation of cardiovascular risk factors including arterial stiffness and parameters describing pulse wave form during recovery.
The study group consisted of healthy male amateur runners (n = 8, age 27 ±2 years, weight 77.1 ±7.3 kg, height 182 ±8.0 cm, body mass index (BMI) 23.2 ±1.3 kg/m2). Participants were selected through medical screening before the study (according to the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine and pre-participation medical screening [6]).
Exclusion criteria were: age ≥ 30 years, cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes mellitus, peripheral arterial disease, alcohol, obesity, smoking, history of vascular surgery, arrhythmia, cardiac valvulopathy or myocardial ischemia, drug treatment, and disorders in ECG.
All subjects of the study completed the full course (21.097 km) with a time between 1:18.22 and 1:51.45 hours.
Blood pressure and pulse waveform were evaluated in the supine position after 15 min of rest by means of the oscillometric method using Vasotens technology (BP Lab) [7]. The measurements were obtained on the left arm three days before the race and 30 min after the end of the...

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