Cardiorespiratory Reference Data in Older Adults: The Generation 100 Study

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Abstract

Purpose

Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is regarded a clinical vital sign, and accurate reference values for all age groups are essential. Little data exist on CRF and cardiorespiratory function in older adults. The aim of this study was to provide normative values for CRF and cardiorespiratory function in older adults, including people with history of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Methods

In total, 1537 (769 women) participants age 70 to 77 yr underwent clinical examinations and cardiopulmonary exercise tests. Peak oxygen uptake (V˙O2peak), ventilation (V˙Epeak), expiration of carbon dioxide (VV˙CO2peak), breathing frequency (BFpeak), tidal volume (VTpeak), oxygen pulse (O2 pulsepeak), ventilatory efficiency (EqV˙O2peak and EqV˙CO2peak), and 1-min HR recovery were assessed.

Results

Men compared with women had higher V˙O2peak (31.3 ± 6.7 vs 26.2 ± 5.0 mL·min−1·kg−1), BFpeak (41.8 ± 8.0 vs 39.7 ± 7.1 breaths per minute), VTpeak (2.3 ± 0.5 vs 1.6 ± 0.3), O2 pulsepeak (16.4 ± 3.2 vs 11.3 ± 2.0), V˙CO2peak (2.9 ± 0.2 and 1.9 ± 0.1 L·min−1), V˙Epeak (96.2 ± 21.7 vs 61.1 ± 21.6 L·min−1), EqV˙O2peak (38.0 ± 6.9 vs 35.1 ± 5.6), and EqV˙CO2peak (33.5 ± 5.7 vs 31.9 ± 4.5). Women and men with CVD had lower V˙O2peak (14% and 19%), peak HR (5% and 6%), V˙Epeak (8% and 10%), VTpeak (7% and 4%), and lower EqV˙CO2peak (4% and 6%) compared with their healthy counterparts, respectively. Compared with healthy women and men, 1-min HR recovery was 12% and 16% lower for women and men with CVD.

Conclusions

This study represents the largest reference material on directly measured CRF and cardiorespiratory function in older men and women, with and without CVD. This novel information will help researchers and clinicians to interpret data form cardiopulmonary testing in older adults.

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