Hypertens Res. 2016 Oct 13;:
The objective of this systematic review was to provide insight into the controversy that still abounds as to the impact of acute aerobic exercise on immediate changes in arterial stiffness. Electronic databases were searched to identify articles assessing the effects of acute aerobic exercise on parameters of arterial stiffness. Eligible studies included arterial stiffness measurements before and after acute aerobic exercise in healthy human subjects. Forty-three studies were included. The effect of acute aerobic exercise on arterial stiffness was found to be dependent on the anatomical segment assessed, and on the timing of the measurement post-exercise. Arterial stiffness of the central and upper body peripheral arterial segments was found to be increased relative to resting values immediately post-exercise (0-5 min), whereas, thereafter (>5 min), decreased to a level at or below resting values. In the lower limbs, proximal to the primary working muscles, arterial stiffness decreased immediately post-exercise (0-5 min), which persisted into the recovery period post-exercise (>5 min). This systematic review reveals a differential response to acute exercise in the lower and upper/central arterial segments in healthy adult subjects. We further showed that the effect of acute aerobic exercise on arterial stiffness is dependent on the timing of the measurements post-exercise. Therefore, when assessing the overall impact of exercise on arterial stiffness, it is important to consider the arterial segment being analyzed and measurement time point, as failure to contextualize the measurement can lead to conflicting results and misleading clinical inferences.Hypertension Research advance online publication, 13 October 2016; doi:10.1038/hr.2016.111.