CHRONIC PASSIVE HEAT THERAPY IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION AND ARTERIAL STIFFNESS IN YOUNG HEALTHY HUMANS
Exercise is a potent means of improving cardiovascular health; however, many patient populations are unable to exercise to an appropriate extent. Passive intermittent heat exposure (“heat therapy”) results in elevations in core temperature and changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, such as cardiac output and shear stress, that are similar to exercise and thus may provide an alternative means of improving cardiovascular health. The majority of cardiovascular diseases are characterized by disorders of the arteries, predominantly caused by endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffening. PURPOSE: To assess the effects of 8 weeks of passive heat therapy on brachial artery flow-mediated dilation and carotid and femoral arterial stiffness. METHODS: Six young healthy subjects participated in 36 sessions of hot water immersion in a 40.5°C bath over the course of 8 wks (4-5x/wk), sufficient to maintain rectal temperature ≥38.5°C for 60min. Before and after heat therapy, we assessed brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) following a 5-min forearm occlusion using Doppler ultrasonography and dynamic cross-sectional arterial compliance of the common carotid and superficial femoral arteries using Doppler ultrasound and applanation tonometry to relate changes in artery diameter to changes in blood pressure. Data are mean ± S.E. RESULTS: Heat therapy increased FMD from 5.6±0.5% to 10.6±1.2% (p<0.01) and femoral compliance from 0.07±0.01 to 0.10±0.01mm2/mmHg (p<0.05), indicating reduced arterial stiffness. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that passive heat therapy improves endothelium-dependent dilation and arterial stiffness. Accordingly, heat therapy may provide a simple and effective means for improving cardiovascular health in various patient populations.
Brunt, V; Ely, B; Francisco, M; and Minson, C
"CHRONIC PASSIVE HEAT THERAPY IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION AND ARTERIAL STIFFNESS IN YOUNG HEALTHY HUMANS,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8:
3, Article 69.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss3/69