To determine the effect of age on cardiovascular performance, 39 healthy elderly men and women, 70 to 83 years old, underwent treadmill thallium-201 exercise perfusion imaging and radionuclide equilibrium angiography at rest and during supine bicycle exercise. Five volunteers who had a positive exercise thallium test response were excluded from the study. Radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction, regional wall abnormalities, relative cardiac output, stroke volume, end-diastolic volume and end-systolic volume were measured. Seventy-four percent of the subjects maintained or increased their ejection fraction with exercise. With peak exercise, mean end-diastolic volume did not change, end-systolic volume decreased and cardiac output and stroke volume increased. Moreover, in 35% of the subjects, minor regional wall motion abnormalities developed during exercise. There was no significant difference in the response of men and women with regard to these variables. However, more women than men had difficulty performing bicycle ergometry because they had never bicycled before. Subjects who walked daily performed the exercise tests with less anxiety and with a smaller increase in heart rate and systolic blood pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine