Cardiovascular changes associated with decreased aerobic capacity and aging in long-distance runners

T. Fuchi, K. Iwaoka, Mitsuru Higuchi*, S. Kobayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Fifty-five male runners aged between 30 to 80 years were examined to determine the relative roles of various cardiovascular parameters which may account for the decrease in maximal oxygen uptake ( {Mathematical expression}) with aging. All subjects had similar body fat composition and trained for a similar mileage each week. The parameters tested were {Mathematical expression}, maximal heart rate (HRmax), cardiac output (Q), and arteriovenous difference in oxygen concentration (Ca -C-v) O2 during graded, maximal treadmill running. Average body fat and training mileage were roughly 12% and 50 km·week-1, respectively. The average 10-km runtime slowed significantly by 6.0%·decade-1 {[10-km run-time (min)=0.323 x age (years)+24.4] (n=49, r=0.692, p<0.001)}. A strong correlation was found between age and {Mathematical expression} {[ {Mathematical expression} (ml·kg-1·min-1)=- 0.439xage+76.5] (n=55, r=-0.768, p<0.001)}. Thus, {Mathematical expression} decreased by 6.9%·decade-1 along with reductions of HRmax (3.2%·decade-1, p<0.001) and Q (5.8%·decade-1, p<0.001), while no significant change with age was observed in estimated (Ca -C-v) O2. It was concluded that the decline of {Mathematical expression} with aging in runners was mainly explained by the central factors (represented by the decline of HR and Q in this study), rather than by the peripheral factor (represented by (Ca -C-v) O2).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-889
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1989 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Maximal oxygen uptake
  • Runners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology


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