Age-related change in peak oxygen uptake and change of cardiovascular risk factors. The HUNT study.

Letnes JM; Dalen H; Aspenes ST; Salvesen Ø; Wisløff U; Nes BM;

Progress in cardiovascular diseases [Prog Cardiovasc Dis] 2020 Sep 21. Date of Electronic Publication: 2020 Sep 21.

Background: Large longitudinal studies on change in directly measured peak oxygen uptake (VO 2peak ) is lacking, and its significance for change of cardiovascular risk factors is uncertain. We aimed to assess ten-year change in VO 2peak and the influence of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), and the association between change in VO 2peak and change in cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods and Results: A healthy general population sample had their VO 2peak directly measured in two (n = 1471) surveys of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT3; 2006-2008 and HUNT4; 2017-19). Average ten-year decline in VO 2peak was non-linear and progressed from 3% in the third to about 20% in the eight decade in life and was more pronounced in men. The fit linear mixed models including an additional 2933 observations from subjects participating only in HUNT3 showed similar age-related decline. Self-reported adherence to LTPA recommendations was associated with better maintenance of VO 2peak , with intensity seemingly more important than minutes of LTPA with higher age. Adjusted linear regression analyses showed that one mL/kg/min better maintenance of VO 2peak was associated with favorable changes of individual cardiovascular risk factors (all p ≤ 0.002). Using logistic regression one mL/kg/min better maintenance of VO 2peak was associated with lower adjusted odds ratio of hypertension (0.95 95% CI 0.92 to 0.98), dyslipidemia (0.92 95% CI 0.89 to 0.94), and metabolic syndrome (0.86 95% CI 0.83 to 0.90) at follow-up.
Conclusions: Although VO 2peak declines progressively with age, performing LTPA and especially high-intensity LTPA is associated with less decline. Maintaining VO 2peak is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile.