Habitual exercise influences carotid artery strain and strain rate, but not cognitive function in healthy middle‑aged females

Campbell, Amy K. and Beaumont, Alexander J. and Hayes, Lawrence and Herbert, Peter and Gardner, David and Ritchie, Louise and Sculthorpe, Nicholas (2023) Habitual exercise influences carotid artery strain and strain rate, but not cognitive function in healthy middle‑aged females. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6327

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-022-05123-x


Purpose Aging females are at risk of declining vascular and cognitive function. Exercise can augment both factors independently; however, the influence of exercise on their interdependence is less clearly understood. Ultrasound speckle tracking is a sensitive novel measure of arterial aging but has not previously been used in middle-aged females. We aimed to elucidate the potential interactions between vascular and cognitive variables in active aging females. Methods Twelve active (56 ± 5 years; V̇ O2peak : 34.5 ± 6.1 ml.kg.min−1) and 13 inactive (57 ± 4 years; 22.8 ± 2.6 ml.kg.min−1) healthy middle-aged females were included. Ultrasound speckle tracking assessed short-axis common carotid artery (CCA) compliance via peak circumferential strain (PCS) and strain rate (PSR) at rest, during, and after 3-min isometric handgrip exercise. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery was assessed using ultrasound. Cognitive function was measured using Verbal Fluency, Trail Making, Stroop, and Digit Span tests. Results PCS (P = 0.003) and PSR (P = 0.004), were higher in the active cohort. FMD was similar between groups (P > 0.05). Minimal differences in cognitive function existed between groups, although the inactive group performed better in one test of animal Verbal Fluency (P < 0.01). No associations were observed between PCS, PSR, or FMD with cognitive function (all P > 0.05). Conclusion This is the first study to assess PCS and PSR in middle-aged females and demonstrates that active middle-aged females exhibit a superior carotid artery profile compared to their inactive counterparts. However, PCS and PSR of the carotid artery may not be linked with cognitive function in middle-aged females.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aging · Exercise · Carotid function · Speckle tracking · Flow-mediated dilation · Cognitive function
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Management and Health > Sport Health and Outdoor Education
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2023 15:19
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 15:20
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2317

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