A segmental evaluation of arterial stiffness before and after prolonged strenuous exercise

Aaron A. Phillips, Anita T. Cote, Heather J. Foulds, Sarah Charlesworth, Shannon S D Bredin, Jamie F. Burr, Shirley P.C. Ngai, Adam Ivey, C. Taylor Drury, Renee J. Fougere, Darren E R Warburton

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We aimed to investigate the effects of a single session of prolonged strenuous exercise (PSE) on arterial stiffness by measuring pulse wave velocity (PWV) before and after competition in an ultramarathon. A total of 20 routine ultramarathon competitors (UM) completed baseline and postrace evaluation of central PWV (cPWV), upper-limb PWV (uPWV), and lower-limb PWV (lPWV) using carotid artery - femoral artery, carotid artery - finger, and femoral artery - toe segments, respectively. Fourteen additional age- and gender-matched normally active participants (NA) took part in the identical baseline evaluation but did not participate in the race. Average ultramarathon completion time was 30 h 47 min. Mean arterial blood pressure was reduced after exercise (before exercise (pre), 92 ± 7 mm Hg; after exercise (post), 84 ± 7 mm Hg; P < 0.001), whereas heart rate was increased (pre, 57 ± 10 beats·min-1; post, 73 ± 12 beats·min-1; P < 0.001). Also, lPWV (pre, 11.8 ± 3.6 m·s-1; post, 9.6 ± 2.6 m·s-1; P < 0.05) and uPWV (pre, 5.0 ± 0.53 m·s-1; post, 4.4 ± 0.8 m·s-1; P < 0.01) were reduced after exercise. No change in cPWV occurred (pre, 4.1 ± 0.8 m·s-1; post, 3.9 ± 1.3 m·s-1; P = 0.55). At baseline, the NA group had significantly increased cPWV in comparison with the UM group (UM, 4.1 ± 0.8 m·s-1; NA, 7.4 ± 1.3 m·s-1; P < 0.001). Acute participation in PSE influenced peripheral but not central arterial stiffness. Those who routinely participate in PSE have reduced central arterial stiffness as compared with normally active, ageand gender-matched controls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-696
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


  • Prolonged exercise
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Vascular stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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