Increased central arterial stiffness is as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Evidence regarding the effects of high-intensity resistance exercise on vascular endothelial function and central arterial stiffness is conflicting. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute high-intensity eccentric exercise on vascular endothelial function and central arterial stiffness. We evaluated the acute changes in endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation, low-flow-mediated constriction, and arterial stiffness following high-intensity eccentric exercise. Seven healthy, sedentary men (age, 24 +/- 1 years) performed maximal eccentric elbow flexor exercise using their non-dominant arm. Before and 45 min after eccentric exercise, carotid arterial compliance and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation and low-flow-mediated constriction in the non-exercised arm were measured. Carotid arterial compliance was significantly decreased, and [beta]-stiffness index significantly increased, after eccentric exercise. Brachial flow-mediated dilation was significantly reduced after eccentric exercise, whereas there was no significant difference in brachial low-flow-mediated constriction before and after eccentric exercise. A positive correlation was detected between change in arterial compliance and change in flow-mediated dilation (r = 0.779, P < 0.05), and a negative correlation was detected between change in [beta]-stiffness index and change in flow-mediated dilation (r = -0.891, P < 0.01) with eccentric exercise. In the present study, acute high-intensity eccentric exercise increased central arterial stiffness; this increase was accompanied by a decrease in endothelial function caused by reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation but not by a change in endothelium-dependent vasoconstriction.
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