Background: Vascular aging is known to induce progressive stiffening of the large elastic arteries, altering vascular hemodynamics under both rest and stress conditions. In this study, we aimed to investigate changes in vascular hemodynamics in response to isometric handgrip exercise across ages. Participants and methods: We included 62 participants, who were divided into three age categories: 20-40 (n=22), 41-60 (n=20), and 61-80 (n=20) years. Vascular hemodynamics were measured using the Mobil-o-Graph® based on the pulsatile pressure changes in the brachial artery. One-way ANOVA test was performed to analyze the changes induced by isometric handgrip exercise. Results: After isometric handgrip exercise, aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) increased by 0.10 m/s in the youngest, 0.06 m/s in the middle-age, and 0.02 m/s in the oldest age category. Changes in PWV strongly correlated with those in central systolic blood pressure (cSBP) (r=0.878, P<0.01). After isometric exercise, the mean change of systolic blood pressure (SBP) was −1.9% in the youngest, 0.6% in the middle-aged, and 8.2% in the oldest subjects. Increasing handgrip strength was associated with an increase in SBP and cSBP (1.08 and 1.37 mmHg per 1 kg increase in handgrip strength, respectively, P=0.01). Finally, PWV was significantly associated with increasing handgrip strength with an increase of 0.05 m/s per 1 kg higher handgrip strength (P=0.01). Conclusion: This study found increased blood pressure levels after isometric challenge and a strong association between handgrip strength and change in blood pressure levels and aortic stiffness in elderly subjects.
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