Decreases in brachial blood pressure (BP) may occur for several hours following a bout of exercise. Although aortic backward waves predict cardiovascular damage independent of brachial BP, whether decreases in aortic backward waves also occur post-exercise; the extent to which these changes exceed brachial BP changes; and the best method of identifying these changes is uncertain.Design and method:
We examined aortic function at baseline and 15 minutes post-exercise in 20 pre-hypertensive or hypertensive men and women (age: 45 ± 7 years). Central aortic pressure, forward (Pf) and backward (Pb) wave pressures, the reflection index (RI) and augmentation pressure (AP) and index (AIx) were determined using applanation tonometry, and wave separation analysis with SphygmoCor software.Results:
Decreases in central aortic (p < 0.001) but not brachial systolic BP and pulse pressure (PP) occurred post-exercise. In addition, decreases in post-exercise (baseline versus post-exercise) Pb (19 ± 4 vs 13 ± 3 mmHg p < 0.0001), RI (72.9 ± 22.1 vs 47.6 ± 12.8%, p < 0.0001), AIx (26.3 ± 10.8 vs 7.8 ± 11.6%, p < 0.0001) and AP (9.9 ± 3.9 vs 2.8 ± 3.9 mmHg, p < 0.0001), but not Pf were noted. However, decreases in AIx were not correlated with decreases in Pb, and whilst decreases in aortic PP correlated with decreases in Pb (p < 0.0001), no correlations were noted with decreases in AP or AIx.Conclusions:
In pre-hypertensive and hypertensive individuals, aortic backward waves decrease post-exercise; this change is not reflected in brachial BP measurements and is poorly indexed by measures of pressure augmentation.