U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Flow-mediated dilation and exercise blood pressure in healthy adolescents

Maya J. Lambiase, Joan Dorn, Rebecca C. Thurston, James N. Roemmich
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports 2014 v.17 no.4 pp. 425-429
adolescents, at-risk population, atherosclerosis, blood flow, blood pressure, endothelium, exercise, exercise test, models, prediction, regression analysis, risk, vasodilation, youth
Objectives: Atherosclerosis is a process that begins in youth. The endothelium plays an essential role in regulating blood flow and protecting against progression of the initial stages of the atherosclerotic process. Few studies have investigated the relationship between aerobic fitness and exercise blood pressure (BP) responses with flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a noninvasive measurement of endothelial function, in healthy youth. Methods: Adolescents (N=54) completed a graded submaximal exercise test to measure aerobic fitness. Blood pressure was recorded during each stage of the exercise test. FMD was measured on a separate day. Multiple regression was used to assess the associations of aerobic fitness and exercise with FMD. Multiple regression was also used to test the associations between exercise BP (absolute BP and change in BP from baseline) and FMD during moderate and vigorous exercise intensities. Results: In adjusted models, a greater increase in pulse pressure (PP) from baseline during both moderate [B(SE)=-.013(.005), p<.05] and vigorous [B(SE)=-.009(.004), p<.05] intensity exercise was associated poorer FMD. Aerobic fitness was not associated with FMD. Conclusions: The moderate and vigorous submaximal exercise intensities used in this study are representative of the intensity of physical activities that youth experience in their daily lives. Youth who demonstrated greater increases in PP during submaximal exercise testing may also be at risk for more frequent encounters with increased hemodynamic loads during normal daily activities which, over time, may cause damage to the endothelium, increasing the risk for atherosclerosis and future cardiovascular disease.