Aging exaggerates blood pressure response to ischemic rhythmic handgrip exercise in humans

Daisuke Hasegawa, Amane Hori, Yukiko Okamura, Reizo Baba, Kenichi Suijo, Masaki Mizuno, Jun Sugawara, Koji Kitatsuji, Hisayoshi Ogata, Kaoru Toda, Norio Hotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ischemic skeletal muscle conditions are known to augment exercise-induced increases in blood pressure (BP). Aging is also a factor that enhances the pressor response to exercise. However, the effects of aging on the BP response to ischemic exercise remain unclear. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that aging enhances the BP response to rhythmic handgrip (RHG) exercise during postexercise muscle ischemia (PEMI). We divided the normotensive participants without cardiovascular diseases into three age groups: young (n = 26; age, 18–28 years), middle-aged (n = 23; age, 35–59 years), and older adults (n = 23; age, 60–80 years). The participants performed RHG exercise with minimal effort for 1 min after rest with and without PEMI, which was induced by inflating a cuff on the upper arm just before the isometric handgrip exercise ended; the intensity was 30% of maximal voluntary contraction force. Under PEMI, the increase in diastolic BP (DBP) from rest to RHG exercise in the older adult group (Δ13 ± 2 mmHg) was significantly higher than that in the young (Δ5 ± 2 mmHg) and middle-aged groups (Δ6 ± 1 mmHg), despite there being no significant difference between the groups in the DBP response from rest to RHG exercise without PEMI. Importantly, based on multiple regression analysis, age remained a significant independent determinant of both the SBP and DBP responses to RHG exercise during PEMI (p < 0.01). These findings indicate that aging enhances the pressor response to ischemic rhythmic exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15125
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • acidosis
  • exercise pressor reflex
  • muscle mechanoreflex
  • muscle metaboreflex
  • postexercise muscle ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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