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Korean Circ J. 2004 Aug;34(8):784-788. Korean. Original Article.
Ahn SJ , Sung J , Kim PH , Doh JH , Kim YH , Oh HR , Chun IS , Lee SH , Hong KP , Park JE , Seo JD .
Department of Internal Medicine, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Cardiology, Cardiac and Vascular Center, Samsung Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Vascular compliance is known to be decreased in hypertension, even at an early stage. The blood pressure response to exercise reflects the future risk of developing hypertension. A study was performed on the relationship between the vascular compliance and blood pressure response to exercise, to evaluate whether the vascular compliance is decreased in normotensive persons with a relatively higher future risk of developing hypertension. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The subjects of the study were adults with normal blood pressure (SBP<120 mmHg, DBP<80 mmHg), who had undergone health screening and both echocardiography and treadmill test. Those patients with a history of diabetes mellitus or clinical cardiovascular diseases were excluded form the subjects. An index of overall vascular compliance (SVI/PP) was calculated using echocardiography. The relationship between the peak systolic blood pressure during exercise and vascular compliance was also investigated. RESULTS: The subjects were 77 patients, 54 male and 23 female, with a mean age of 47.6+/-7.7 years. The measured vascular compliance and average of peak systolic pressure on exercising were 1.08+/-0.24 L/m2/mmHg and 154+/-21 mmHg, respectively. The peak systolic pressure was correlated with the vascular compliance (r=-0.24, p<0.05). The peak systolic pressure at stage 3 was also correlated with the vascular compliance (r=-0.24, p<0.05). This relationship persisted after adjustment for age, gender, basal systolic blood pressure and maximal oxygen consumption (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: The vascular compliance was lower in subjects with a larger increase in blood pressure during exercise whose basal blood pressure was even below 120/80 mmHg. This finding may suggest that a decreased vascular compliance precedes the changes of hypertension. A longitudinal follow-up study is warranted.

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