Cardiovascular hemodynamics during stress in premenopausal versus postmenopausal women.
After menopause, women are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The present study assessed cardiovascular hemodynamics in premenopausal versus postmenopausal women, with a focus on systemic vascular resistance (SVR) at rest and during stress. Sympathetic nervous system activity and cardiovascular adrenergic receptor (AR) function were also examined.A total of 90 women (45 premenopausal and 45 postmenopausal) completed a laboratory protocol composed of a resting baseline and four mental stress tasks. Measurements included blood pressure, cardiac output, SVR, and plasma catecholamine level. In addition, alpha- and beta-AR responsiveness to the infusion of selective pharmacological agonists was assessed.Compared with premenopausal women, postmenopausal women were characterized by similar blood pressure but lower cardiac output and higher SVR, both at rest and during stress (Ps < 0.05). Postmenopausal women also had higher baseline plasma norepinephrine levels (P = 0.007) and reduced beta-AR responsiveness (P = 0.02), although differences in beta-AR responsiveness may have been confounded by aging effects.After menopause, women exhibit altered sympathetic nervous system activity and a sustained increase in hemodynamic load that may contribute to pathological structural and functional changes in the heart and blood vessels.
Sherwood, A; Park, SB; Hughes, JW; Blumenthal, JA; Hinderliter, A; Trivedi, R; McFetridge-Durdle, J
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)