Separate and Joint Associations of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Healthy Vascular Aging with Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Men

Sae Young Jae, Kyung Hyun Lee, Hyun Jeong Kim, Setor K. Kunutsor, Kevin S. Heffernan, Rachel E. Climie, Kanokwan Bunsawat, Mira Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Achieving healthy vascular aging (HVA) is important for decelerating age-related cardiovascular disease risk. We evaluated the interplay between HVA, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and subclinical atherosclerosis. Methods: We analyzed data on 3722 men who underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing in a health examination program. HVA was defined as blood pressure <140/90 mm Hg without hypertension and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity <1266 cm/s. CRF was directly measured by peak oxygen uptake. Subclinical atherosclerosis was defined as coronary artery calcification scores of >0 and ≥100 and a mean carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) >75th percentile for each age group as well as >0.8 mm of CIMT. Separate and joint associations of HVA and CRF with subclinical atherosclerosis were evaluated. Results: Each 1 metabolic equivalent increment in CRF was associated with 23% higher odds for having HVA. HVA was associated with lower odds of coronary artery calcification but not CIMT. CRF modified the association between HVA and CIMT>0.8 mm (interaction: P=0.01); HVA was associated with lower odds of CIMT>0.8 mm in fit men with no significant association between HVA and CIMT>0.8 mm in unfit men. Compared with no HVA and being unfit, HVA and being fit was associated with lower odds of subclinical atherosclerosis, but there was no significant association between HVA and being unfit with subclinical atherosclerosis. Conclusions: HVA and higher CRF are each associated with a lower risk of subclinical atherosclerosis in men. Higher CRF is associated with a higher prevalence of HVA and may modify the association between HVA and subclinical atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1454
Number of pages10
JournalHypertension
Volume79
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • Aging
  • atherosclerosis
  • blood pressure
  • carotid artery
  • hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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