Cardiovascular and cerebral hemodynamics during exercise and recovery in obese individuals as a function of their fitness status


The aim of this study was to compare cardiovascular hemodynamics and cerebral oxygenation/perfusion (COP) during and after maximal incremental exercise in obese individuals according to their aerobic fitness versus age-matched healthy controls (AMHC). Fifty-four middle–aged obese (OB) and 16 AMHC were recruited. Maximal cardiopulmonary function (gas exchange analysis), cardiac hemodynamics (impedance cardiography), and left frontal COP (near-infrared spectroscopy: NIRS) were measured continuously during a maximal incremental ergocycle test. During recovery, reoxygenation/perfusion rate (ROPR: oxyhemoglobin: $Δ$O2Hb, deoxyhemoglobin: $Δ$HHb and total hemoglobin: $Δ$tHb; with NIRS) was also measured. Obese participants (OB, n = 54) were divided into two groups according to the median peak: the low-fit obese (LF-OB, n = 27) and the high-fit obese (HF-OB, n = 27). During exercise, end tidal pressure of CO2 (PETCO2), and COP ($Δ$O2Hb, $Δ$HHb and $Δ$tHb) did not differ between groups (OB, LF-OB, HF-OB, AMHC). During recovery, PETCO2 and ROPR ($Δ$O2Hb, $Δ$HHb and $Δ$tHb) were similar between the groups (OB, LF-OB, HF-OB, AMHC). During exercise and recovery, cardiac index was lower (P < 0.05) in LF-OB versus the other two groups (HF-OB, AMHC). As well, systolic blood pressure was higher during exercise in the OB, LF-OB and HF-OB groups versus AMHC (P < 0.05). When compared to AMHC, obese individuals (OB, LF-OB, HF-OB) have a similar cerebral vasoreactivity by CO2 and cerebral hemodynamics during exercise and recovery, but a higher systolic blood pressure during exercise. Higher fitness in obese subjects (HF-OB) seems to preserve their cardiopulmonary and cardiac function during exercise and recovery.

Physiological Reports