Dynamics of cardiovascular ageing.
The aim of the research was to establish whether and how physiological aging can be assessed, noninvasively, by the analysis of cardiovascular oscillations.
Blood flow and other cardiovascular signals from 200 healthy subjects of all ages, recorded simultaneously over a period of 30 minutes, were analysed using state of the art nonlinear methods. In doing so, we tried to quantify the age-related changes that occur.
We were particularly interested in studying the lower-frequency oscillations, as these are known to be related to the activity of the endothelium, the inner lining of all the blood vessels. Endothelial function declines with age, and diseases such as heart failure and hypertension have associated endothelial dysfunction. We hoped to establish a baseline for endothelial processes in healthy individuals, as a function of their age.
We were especially interested in finding out how the oscillatory amplitudes and interaction parameters change during ageing, including in the oldest old. We also examined age-related changes in the dynamics of thermoregulation and oxygenation levels in the blood.
We believed that the work would pave the way to a non-invasive method of establishing the level of endothelial reactivity in older people, potentially suitable as a routine diagnostic tool in general healthcare practice.
Dynamics of cardiovascular ageing (PDF, 1.6MB)
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