Cardiovascular response of postmenopausal women to 8 weeks of sprint interval training

Abstract

Introduction

Menopause is accompanied by decreased aerobic fitness and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Sprint interval training (SIT) is a time-efficient intervention for improving cardiovascular function and aerobic fitness of young adults.

Aim

To determine the effect of an 8-week SIT program on the cardiovascular function and aerobic fitness of overweight postmenopausal women.

Method

Thirty overweight postmenopausal women were randomized into exercise (n = 15) or control (n = 15) groups. The intervention group completed three SIT sessions a week for 8 weeks. Each session consisted of 20 min of 8-s sprints and 12 s of light pedalling. Participants also completed 8 min of light aerobic cycle exercise, before and after the SIT intervention. Cardiovascular function including heart rate, stroke volume (SV), and diastolic filling time (DFT) was assessed before and after the intervention and during 8 min of light aerobic exercise. Estimated maximal oxygen uptake (\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{2{\text{max}}}}\)) was also assessed.

Results

Resting SV was increased (p = 0.001) from pre- (77.5 ± 17.0 mL) to post-SIT (81.3 ± 17.0 mL), whereas SV during 8 min of light aerobic exercise was increased (p = 0.000), from pre- (97.8 ± 1.6 mL) to post-test (103.5 ± 17.8 mL). Resting DFT was increased, (p = 0.010), at pre- (333.4 ± 94.4 mL) to post-SIT (357.4 ± 88.2 mL), whereas DFT during 8 min of aerobic exercise was increased, (p = 0.000), from pre- (480.1 ± 99.5 mL) to posttest (527.2 ± 123.0 mL). Predicted \(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{2{\text{max}}}}\) was increased, (p = 0.016), from pre- (19.5 ± 5.87 mL kg−1 min−1) to post-SIT (21.4 ± 7.02 mL kg−1 min−1).

Conclusion

SIT improved cardiovascular function and aerobic fitness of overweight postmenopausal women after 8 weeks of exercise.

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Abbreviations

ANCOVA:

Analysis of co-variance

BMI:

Body mass index

BPM:

Beats per minute

BSA:

Body surface area

BP:

Blood pressure

CI:

Cardiac index

CO:

Cardiac output

COP:

Cardiac output program

CRF:

Cardiorespiratory fitness

DFT:

Diastolic filling time

ECG:

Electrocardiography

HR:

Heart rate

SIT:

Sprint interval training

LV:

Left ventricular

LVET:

Left ventricular ejection time

PEP:

Pre-ejection period

RPE:

Rating of perceived exertion

RPM:

Revolutions per minute

SI:

Stroke index

SSE:

Steady-state exercise

SV:

Stroke volume

TPR:

Total peripheral resistance

VER:

Ventricular emptying rate

\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_2}\) :

Oxygen uptake

\(\dot {V}{\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_2}\) :

Carbon dioxide production

\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{2{\text{max}}}}\) :

Maximal oxygen uptake

VFT:

Ventricular filling time

W:

Watts

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Tze Yuen Ho, Vrischika Chabella, Alexandra Gleeson, Georgia Redmayne, Aengus Tran, Susan Li, and Helen Yoo for help with participant exercise training.

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Contributions

DZ and TJ’s contributions to the manuscript were equal. They shared first authorship. They organized data collection, data and statistical analyses, and contributed to the manuscript development. SB was responsible for the study design and manuscript development. YB organized participant recruitment, the testing timetable, statistical analyses, study design, and manuscript development.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yati N. Boutcher.

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None of the authors had a personal or financial conflict of interest. The study received no sources of funding. The results of the study are presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation.

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Communicated by Keith Phillip George.

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Zhang, D., Janjgava, T., Boutcher, S.H. et al. Cardiovascular response of postmenopausal women to 8 weeks of sprint interval training. Eur J Appl Physiol 119, 981–989 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04087-9

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Keywords

  • Sprint interval training
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Stroke volume
  • Diastolic filling time
  • Aerobic fitness