Background Increase in central blood pressure is more predictive of future cardiovascular disease than increased brachial blood pressure. Arterial stiffness causes an early return of the reflected pressure wave to the aorta, with subsequently augmented central systolic pressure. It has been reported that arterial stiffness is associated with poor trunk flexibility; however, the effect of flexibility fitness on central blood pressure remains unclear. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between trunk flexibility and central blood pressure using a cross-sectional design. Methods A total of 198 middle-aged (50–64 years) and older (65–75 years) adults participated in this study. We measured central blood pressure, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), and sit-and-reach flexibility as an index of body trunk flexibility. Study subjects were divided into either poor- or high-flexibility fitness group for each age category. Results Among middle-aged subjects, there were no significant differences in any hemodynamic parameters between the two groups. Among older subjects, the central systolic blood pressure and central pulse pressure in the high-flexibility group were lower than that in the poor-flexibility group. cfPWV was also lower in older subjects with high flexibility than those with poor flexibility. Furthermore, sit-and-reach flexibility was significantly correlated with central systolic blood pressure and central pulse pressure. Conclusion We demonstrated that trunk flexibility is correlated to central systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure in the elderly.
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