Arterial stiffness is a significant concern in sport medicine, as it can have implications for the health and performance of athletes. Elevated arterial stiffness in athletes can lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles, as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. As a result, understanding and managing arterial stiffness is an important part of the care of athletes in sport medicine.
Studies have shown that increased arterial stiffness can have a negative impact on athletic performance, particularly in endurance sports such as running and cycling. This is because stiffer arteries can reduce the efficiency of blood flow to the muscles, leading to a decreased delivery of oxygen and nutrients, and an increased risk of fatigue and injury.
Furthermore, the sudden cardiac death among athletes is one of the most threatening tragedies that happen from time to time. In athletes older than 35 years of age, 80% of SCD is frequently due to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. The strong relationship between CAD and increased arterial stiffness has been proven by several studies.
Generally, athletes have lower levels of arterial stiffness compared to sedentary individuals due to the positive effects of exercise on blood vessels. However, extreme levels of exercise, such as endurance sports, can lead to elevated levels of arterial stiffness, which may be detrimental to cardiovascular health over time. Arteriograph can help monitor changes in arterial stiffness in athletes and assist in the development of individualized training programs to optimize cardiovascular health.
Studies suggest that arterial stiffness is a particularly important marker of subsequent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among those with chronic cardiovascular or metabolic diseases. Children and adolescents with chronic diseases or disabilities have lower cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF), thus a higher prevalence of obesity. This needs further investigation regarding arterial parameters in mentioned subjects.
"Oxygen uptake per body weight" and "fat free mass" measured upon customised cardio-respiratory fitness. BMI and waist circumference calculated as well. Arterial stiffness and Total Peripheral Resistance also assessed by PWVao and AIx respectively which were measured by Arteriograph.
Results showed that lower oxygen uptake and higher waist circumference are related to higher PWV. On the other hand, higher BMI and waist circumference showed to be associated with lower AIx in youth with physical disabilities.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of exercise-related sudden cardiac death. This indicate that early identification of sub-clinical CAD should be an important goal in the pre-participation sports evaluation of middle-aged persons.
This study sets out to determine the value of Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) evaluated with Arteriograph, in addition to routinely assessed cardiovascular risk factors (SCORE), to detect CAD in asymptomatic middle-aged sportsmen.
Results support the association between established risk factors (including smoking), arterial stiffness and CAD in middle-aged sportsmen. Furthermore, PWV measurements may have a role in the routine Sport Medical Evaluation (SME) of middle-aged sportsmen to help identify those at a higher risk for relevant CAD.