2. St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.
3. Department of Cardiology, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.
Purpose: Leg venous compliance decreases with age, but subjects with high fitness show less venous remodelling than unfit subjects. Whether a high fitness level can counteract the normal age-decline in upper arm venous compliance is unknown.
Study aim: First, to examine upper arm venous compliance across age in participants with comparable levels of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Second, to examine if upper arm venous compliance is related to total blood volume.
Methods: Twenty-eight healthy fit participants within the age groups 20-39 (young: VO2max 3.44 (2.35–5.09) L∙min-1, n=9), 40-59 (middle-aged: VO2max 3.08 (2.17-4.60) L∙min-1, n=9), and 60-69 (old: VO2max 3.27 (2.24–4.04) L∙min-1, n=10) years of age were recruited to the study. Upper arm venous compliance was examined using high-resolution ultrasound and Doppler, while total blood and plasma volume were measured using the optimized carbon monoxide (CO)-rebreathing method.
Results: No difference was found in upper arm venous compliance normalized to blood volume in participants aged 20-69 years (young: 0.22 (-0.02–0.5) mm3∙mmHg-1∙L-1, middle aged: 0.05 (-0.1–0.4) mm3∙mmHg-1∙L-1, old: 0.16 (0.1–0.5) mm3∙mmHg-1∙L-1) with comparable high VO2max levels.
Conclusion: In the studied subjects between 20-70 years old with comparable absolute VO2max, upper arm venous compliance normalized to blood volume seems to be age independent.
Keywords: Veins, age, VO2max, blood volume