PURPOSE: Arterial stiffness, an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, increases with advancing age. Arterial stiffness is improved by regular exercise, but individual responses to exercise training are variable. Given that estrogen and estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) can induce vasodilation and can exert an antiatherosclerotic effect in vessels, we hypothesized that gene polymorphisms of ER-α might influence the ability of regular exercise to improve arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women. METHODS: One hundred ninety-five healthy postmenopausal women (62 ± 6 yr, mean ± SD) participated in our cross-sectional study. We determined the genotype of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) at -401T/C of intron 1 of the ER-α gene. Arterial stiffness was measured by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), and daily physical activity was estimated by a uniaxial accelerometer. Subjects were divided into active and inactive groups according to the median value (200 kcal·d) of energy expenditure. RESULTS: baPWV in individuals with the TT variant of -401T/C genotype were significantly higher than for individuals with the TC+CC genotype. No significant differences in mean baPWV values were found between the active group and the inactive group (P = 0.09). A significant reduction of baPWV secondary to increased daily physical activity was observed in individuals with the TC+CC genotype but not in individuals with the TT genotype (TT/active: 1470 ± 36 cm·s; TT/inactive: 1457 ± 34 cm·s; TC+CC/active: 1359 ± 21 cm·s; TC+CC/inactive: 1433 ± 24 cm·s). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that ER-α polymorphism affects the regular exercise-related reduction in arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women.
- Aerobic exercise
- Estrogen receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation