Purpose: The age-associated increase in arterial wall viscosity (AWV) is attenuated by high cardiorespiratory fitness level. However, AWV in endurance-trained athletes have not been determined. We designed a cross sectional study to compare central AWV and compliance between endurance-trained young athletes and age-matched control men. Methods: Twenty-one endurance-trained men (age 20.7 ± 0.3 years) and 20 age-matched healthy control men (age 21.6 ± 0.4 years) were studied. The common carotid artery was measured noninvasively by tonometry and automatic tracking of B-mode images to obtain instantaneous pressure and diameter hysteresis loops, and we calculated the dynamic carotid arterial compliance, static (effective and isobaric) compliance, and viscosity index. Results: The AWV index in the endurance-trained men was larger than the control peers (2285 ± 181 vs. 1429 ± 124 mmHg·s/mm: P < 0.001). In addition, dynamic and static compliance were not statistically different between both groups. Conclusion: The present study indicated that the central AWV in endurance-trained athletes was greater than age-matched healthy control men. We believe that the AWV, as well as arterial compliance, is an important element for assessing vascular adaptation to endurance training.
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