Physical training induces multiple changes in the cardiovascular system which allow an increased performance along with increased oxygen consumption. The present study was designed to investigate whether the changes include an increase in arterial compliance.
Methods and design
In six normotensive right-handed hammer-throwers (aged 21.3±1.8 years, mean±SE) we measured radial artery diameter continuously via a new non-invasive echo-tracking device, and beat-to-beat blood pressure. Arterial compliance was calculated by an arctangent model. In each subject measurements were made from both the left and the right arm. The data were compared with those obtained in six age-matched normotensive controls.
Compared to the controls, the hammer-throwers had similar blood pressure, a lower heart rate and plasma norepinephrine and a higher left ventricular mass index and radial artery diameter. In the athletes, right radial artery compliance was significantly greater than either right or left radial artery compliance in the sedentary subjects ( + 61 and 63%, P<0.05). It was also significantly greater than contralateralu radial artery compliance (+53 ±8%, P<0.05).
Physical training is accompanied by an increase in arterial compliance. In our hammer-throwers this increase was mainly evident in the more highly trained arm, suggesting that local mechanisms are involved in this phenomenon.