Association between muscle fiber composition and blood pressure levels during exercise in men.
Normotensive individuals with a magnified blood pressure (BP) level during exercise have an increased risk for developing hypertension. The purpose of this study was to determine if skeletal muscle fiber type is related to the BP level during exercise. Peak BP was determined in 35 normotensive, middle-aged (mean +/- SE, 46.0 +/- 1.8 years) men during maximal treadmill exercise. Fiber distribution (I, IIa, IIb) was measured in muscle samples (percutaneous needle biopsy) from the vastus lateralis and lateral gastrocnemius. The systolic BP during exercise was significantly (P < .05) related to the percentage of type IIb fibers in both the vastus lateralis (r = 0.37) and gastrocnemius (r = 0.38). Mean arterial pressure BP was also related to the percentage of type IIb fibers in the gastrocnemius (r = 0.39, P < .05), with a similar trend evident in the vastus lateralis (r = 0.31, P = 0.08). The percentage of type IIb muscle fibers in both muscle groups was associated with (P < .05) body fat (vastus lateralis, r = 0.44; gastrocnemius, r = 0.43). There were no relationships between the relative percentage of type I or IIa fibers with any BP parameters. Maximal oxygen consumption was negatively related to BP, but only when expressed relative to body weight (mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)). These data suggest that muscle morphology is related to the blood pressure level during exercise and provides insight into factors that may predispose individuals toward the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Houmard, JA; Weidner, ML; Koves, TR; Hickner, RC; Cortright, RL
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