Exercise training and artery function in humans: Nonresponse and its relationship to cardiovascular risk factors

Daniel Green, T.M.H. Eijsvogels, Y.M. Bouts, A.J. Maiorana, Louise Naylor, R.R. Scholten, M.E.A. Spaanderman, C.J.A. Pugh, V.S. Sprung, T.H.A. Schreuder, H.E. Jones, N.T. Cable, M.T.E. Hopman, D.H.J. Thijssen

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    66 Citations (Scopus)


    The objectives of our study were to examine 1) the proportion of responders and nonresponders to exercise training in terms of vascular function; 2) a priori factors related to exercise training-induced changes in conduit artery function, and 3) the contribution of traditional cardiovascular risk factors to exercise-induced changes in artery function. We pooled data from our laboratories involving 182 subjects who underwent supervised, large-muscle group, endurance-type exercise training interventions with pre-/posttraining measures of flowmediated dilation (FMD%) to assess artery function. All studies adopted an identical FMD protocol (5-min ischemia, distal cuff inflation), contemporary echo-Doppler methodology, and observerindependent automated analysis. Linear regression analysis was used to identify factors contributing to changes in FMD%. We found that cardiopulmonary fitness improved, and weight, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) decreased after training, while FMD% increased in 76% of subjects (P <0.001). Training-induced increase in FMD% was predicted by lower body weight (β =-0.212), lower baseline FMD% (β =-0.469), lower training frequency (β =-0.256), and longer training duration (β = 0.367) (combined: P <0.001, r = 0.63). With the exception of a modest correlation with total cholesterol (r =-0.243, P <0.01), changes in traditional cardiovascular risk factors were not significantly related to changes in FMD% (P > 0.05). In conclusion, we found that, while some subjects do not demonstrate increases following exercise training, improvement in FMD% is present in those with lower pretraining body weight and endothelial function. Moreover, exercise training-induced change in FMD% did not correlate with changes in traditional cardiovascular risk factors, indicating that some cardioprotective effects of exercise training are independent of improvement in risk factors. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-352
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
    Issue number4
    Early online date19 Jun 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2014


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