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Advisory Committee Chair

Gordon Fisher

Advisory Committee Members

Gary Hunter

Cody Morris

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) School of Education

Abstract

Background: CVD is one of the main causes of death in the United States, and hypertension is a primary risk factor of this disease. Therefore, the primary causes of hypertension need to be identified so they may be addressed for treatment. Hypertension is known to be brought on by factors such as obesity, smoking, and age, but more knowledge is needed to address why otherwise healthy individuals suffer from the condition. Additionally, knowledge is needed on identifiable predictive measures which have association with hypertension to decrease the progression of CVD. Purpose: Compare blood pressure with hemodynamic values and identify factors that predict the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases between a cohort of healthy normotensive younger and older women. Methods: Participants were 49 young (Age: 33.8 ± 5.9) and 103 old (Age: 65.8 ± 4) who were non-hypertensive, had no previous history of heart disease or type 2 diabetes, BMI less than 30 kg/m2, normal electrocardiography (EKG) response at rest and during exercise, nonsmokers, and no use of medications known to affect cardiovascular or metabolic function. Body composition measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Hemodynamic values measured by non-invasive pulse wave velocity through radial artery tonometry. Markers of inflammation measured through blood sample analysis. iii Results: Significant differences exist between young and old groups in %fat (P<0.0001), systolic blood pressure (P=0.001), large artery elasticity (P=0.005), small artery elasticity (P<0.0001), systemic vascular resistance (P=0.004), total vascular impedance (P<0.0001), estimated cardiac output (P<0.0001), and TNF-⍺ (P<0.0001). ANCOVA showed small artery elasticity (P<0.0001) and TNF-⍺ (P=0.041) to both be significant with SBP when age was not. Discussion: These data demonstrate that blood pressure and vascular hemodynamic measures differ significantly between young and old women independent of body composition. Furthermore, these differences may be explained by the inflammation marker TNF-⍺ and/or small artery elasticity.

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