Relationships between central arterial stiffness, lean body mass, and absolute and relative strength in young and older men and women
Relationships between muscular strength and arterial stiffness as well as between muscle mass and arterial stiffness have been observed suggesting a link between the neuromuscular system and vascular health. However, the relationship between central arterial stiffness and absolute and relative strength along with muscle mass has not been investigated in both sexes across a broad age range. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between central arterial stiffness and absolute and relative strength as well as between central arterial stiffness and lean body mass (LBM) in men and women across a broad age range. LBM, central arterial stiffness and strength were measured on 36 men and 35 women between the ages of 18 and 75 years. Strength was measured on five machine resistance exercises and summed as one measure of overall strength (absolute strength). Relative strength was calculated as total strength divided by LBM (relative strength). Central arterial stiffness was inversely related to both absolute (r = −0·230; P = 0·029) and relative strength (r = −0·484; P < 0·001) but not LBM (r = 0·097; P = 0·213). The relationship between central arterial stiffness and relative strength was attenuated but still present when controlling for either age, per cent body fat, LBM or mean arterial pressure. These results suggest that, across a wide age range, the expression of relative muscular strength has a stronger relationship with central arterial stiffness compared to either LBM or absolute strength. This suggests that muscle function more than muscle mass may be coupled with vascular health.