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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 386387, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Systemic Vascular Function Is Associated with Muscular Power in Older Adults

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
2Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
3The Vascular Function Study Group, Division of Cardiology and the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Received 13 April 2012; Revised 23 June 2012; Accepted 6 July 2012

Academic Editor: Karl Rosengren

Copyright © 2012 Kevin S. Heffernan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Age-associated loss of muscular strength and muscular power is a critical determinant of loss of physical function and progression to disability in older adults. In this study, we examined the association of systemic vascular function and measures of muscle strength and power in older adults. Measures of vascular endothelial function included brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and the pulse wave amplitude reactive hyperemia index (PWA-RHI). Augmentation index (AIx) was taken as a measure of systemic vascular function related to arterial stiffness and wave reflection. Measures of muscular strength included one repetition maximum (1RM) for a bilateral leg press. Peak muscular power was measured during 5 repetitions performed as fast as possible for bilateral leg press at 40% 1RM. Muscular power was associated with brachial FMD ( 𝑟 = 0 . 4 3 , 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ), PWA-RHI ( 𝑟 = 0 . 4 2 , 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ), and AIx ( 𝑟 = 0 . 5 4 , 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ). Muscular strength was not associated with any measure of vascular function. In conclusion, systemic vascular function is associated with lower-limb muscular power but not muscular strength in older adults. Whether loss of muscular power with aging contributes to systemic vascular deconditioning or vascular dysfunction contributes to decrements in muscular power remains to be determined.