IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 7 / DOI: 10.2741/E570

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Age related cardiovascular dysfunction and effects of physical activity

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1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2 Department of Reproduction and Ageing, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
3 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo, USA
4 Department of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Rome, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(7), 2617–2637;
Published: 1 June 2012

The aim of the present article is to review the principal pathogenetic pathways of age-related cardiovascular changes and the positive effects of physical activity on these changes as well as on related cardiovascular dysfunction. The ageing mechanisms reviewed have been grouped into reduced tolerance of oxidative stress, loss of cardiac stem cells, cardiovascular remodeling and impairment of neurovegetative control. New pathogenetic conditions and their tests are described (sirtuines, telomere length, heart rate variability). Age related cardiovascular changes predispose the individual to arterial hypertension, heart failure and arrythmia. A broad spectrum of tests are available to indentify and monitor the emerging cardiovascular dysfunction. Physical activity influences all age related cardiovascular mechanisms, improves cardiovascular function and even, at moderate intensity can reduce mortality and heart attack risk. It is likely that the translation of laboratory studies to humans will improve understanding and stimulate the use of physical activity to benefit cardiovascular patients.

Cardiovascular aging
Physical activity
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