gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Vascular aging - pathophysiology, diagnosis and prevention

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa006

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Mengden.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Age is the dominant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Aging is associated with alterations of structural and functional properties of large arteries, e.g. vascular diameter, wall thickness, wall stiff-ness, and endothelial function. These age-associated changes are accelerated in the presence of cardio-vascular diseases, and these changes are themselves risk factors for the appearance or progression of vascular aging.

A number of biochemical and cellular alterations that accelerate arterial aging have also been impli-cated in the pathogenesis and progression of arterial diseases. These vascular alterations are thus candi-dates that could be targeted by interventions aimed at attenuating arterial aging, such as lifestyle changes and pharmacological interventions. Recent studies in the elderly show that parameters of vas-cular aging such as endothelial dysfunction as well as increased arterial stiffness are also influenced by regular exercise training. Regular exercise training may prevent the age-associated deterioration of en-dothelial function and vascular compliance.

In summary, the notion that vascular aging is a chronological process and that its components cannot be modulated should be challenged.