Endothelial function and arterial stiffness in young adults with histories of chronic resistance activity


  • Dustin W. Davis University of Nevada, United States https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5894-3851
  • Matthew J. Garver University of Central Missouri, United States
  • Whitley J. Stone Western Kentucky University, United States
  • Meera Penumetcha University of Central Missouri, United States
  • Josie N. Hair University of Central Missouri, United States
  • Nicolas M. Philipp University of Central Missouri, United States




Sports medicine, Muscular strength, Resistance adaptations, Blood vessels


Endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness indicate vessel damage and are detectable before overt cardiovascular disease. Chronic cardiorespiratory endurance activity improves arterial endothelial function and stiffness. The influence of chronic resistance activity on these variables is less definitive and thus deserves attention. The primary aim of this investigation was to determine if endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness were present in apparently healthy young adults who chronically engage in resistance activity with minimal cardiorespiratory endurance activity. Investigators measured endothelial function as LnRHI and arterial stiffness as AI@75 using the EndoPAT-2000. Investigators measured upper-body muscular strength using a standardized one-repetition maximum (1-RM) bench press. The LnRHI and AI@75 between males and females were compared via an independent-samples t-test and Mann-Whitney U test, respectively. Correlations between 1-RM, bench press to body weight ratio, LnRHI, and AI@75 were evaluated via Pearson’s correlation. Males’ LnRHI was abnormal according to manufacturer standards and lower than females’ (p = .005), but AI@75 was normal and similar for both sexes (p = .22). The 1-RM and bench press to body weight ratio correlated negatively with LnRHI (p = .03 and p = .01, respectively). The bench press to body weight ratio correlated negatively with AI@75 (p = .03), and percentage body fat correlated positively with the AI@75 (p = .003). Young adult males with considerable upper-body muscular strength due to chronic resistance activity, who complete minimal cardiorespiratory endurance activity, appear to have detectable signs of early endothelial dysfunction.


Itamar Medical Ltd, Office of Graduate Education and Research, University of Central Missouri


Download data is not yet available.


American College of Sports Medicine. (2017). Exercise preparticipation health screening. In ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (10th ed., pp. 22–43). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Aversa, A., Francomano, D., Bruzziches, R., Pili, M., Natali, M., Spera, G., & Lenzi, A. (2011). The application of digital pulse amplitude tonometry to the diagnostic investigation of endothelial dysfunction in men with erectile dysfunction. Androl, 43(1), 9–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00998.x

Axtell, A. L., Gomari, F. A., & Cooke, J. P. (2010). Assessing endothelial vasodilator function with the EndoPAT-2000. J Vis Exp, 44, 2167. https://doi.org/10.3791/2167

Bonetti, P. O., Barsness, G. W., Keelan, P. C., Schnell, T. I., Pumper, G. M., Kuvin, J. T., Schnall, R. P., Holmes, D. R., Higano, S. T., & Lerman, A. (2003). Enhanced external counterpulsation improves endothelial function in patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease. J Am Col Card, 41(10), 1761–1768. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0735-1097(03)00329-2

Bonetti, P. O., Pumper, G. M., Higano, S. T., Holmes, D. R., Kuvin, J. T., & Lerman, A. (2004). Noninvasive identification of patients with early coronary atherosclerosis by assessment of digital reactive hyperemia. J Am Col Card, 44(11), 2137–2141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2004.08.062

Clarkson, P., Montgomery, H. E., Mullen, M. J., Donald, A. E., Powe, A. J., Bull, T., Jubb, M., World, M., & Deanfield, J. E. (1999). Exercise training enhances endothelial function in young men. J Am Col Card, 33(5), 1379–1385. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0735-1097(99)00036-4

Cohen, J. (1988). The effect size index. In Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed., pp. 20–27). Routledge.

Della Rocca, D. G., & Pepine, C. J. (2010). Endothelium as a predictor of adverse outcomes. Clin Card, 33(12), 730–732. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.20854

Egan, B., & Zierath, J. R. (2013). Exercise metabolism and the molecular regulation of skeletal muscle adaptation. Cell Metab, 17(2), 162–184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2012.12.012

EndoPAT™️2000 Device User Manual. Itamar Medical. https://www.itamar-medical.com/support/downloads/

García-Mateo, P., García-de-Alcaraz, A., & Rodríguez-Peréz, M. A. (2020). Effects of resistance training on arterial stiffness in healthy people: A systematic review. J Sports Sci Med, 2020(19), 8.

Gokce, N., Keaney, J. F., Hunter, L. M., Watkins, M. T., Menzoian, J. O., & Vita, J. A. (2002). Risk stratification for postoperative cardiovascular events via noninvasive assessment of endothelial function: A prospective study. Circulation, 105(13), 1567–1572. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.0000012543.55874.47

Gokce, N., Keaney, J. F., Hunter, L. M., Watkins, M. T., Nedeljkovic, Z. S., Menzoian, J. O., & Vita, J. A. (2003). Predictive value of noninvasively determined endothelial dysfunction for long-term cardiovascular events in patients with peripheral vascular disease. J Am Col Card, 41(10), 1769–1775. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0735-1097(03)00333-4

Gokce, N., Vita, J. A., Bader, D. S., Sherman, D. L., Hunter, L. M., Holbrook, M., O’Malley, C., Keaney, J. F., & Balady, G. J. (2002). Effect of exercise on upper and lower extremity endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease. Am J Card, 90(2), 124–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0002-9149(02)02433-5

Green, D. J., Walsh, J. H., Maiorana, A., Burke, V., Taylor, R. R., & O’Driscoll, J. G. (2004). Comparison of resistance and conduit vessel nitric oxide-mediated vascular function in vivo: Effects of exercise training. J Appl Physiol, 97(2), 749–755. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00109.2004

Hamburg, N. M., Keyes, M. J., Larson, M. G., Vasan, R. S., Schnabel, R., Pryde, M. M., Mitchell, G. F., Sheffy, J., Vita, J. A., & Benjamin, E. J. (2008). Cross-sectional relations of digital vascular function to cardiovascular risk factors in the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation, 117(19), 2467–2474. https://doi.org/10.1161/circulationaha.107.748574

Hoaglin, D. C., & Iglewicz, B. (1987). Fine-tuning some resistant rules for outlier labeling. J Am Stat Assoc, 82(400), 1147–1149. https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1987.10478551

Kuvin, J. T., Patel, A. R., Sliney, K. A., Pandian, N. G., Sheffy, J., Schnall, R. P., Karas, R. H., & Udelson, J. E. (2003). Assessment of peripheral vascular endothelial function with finger arterial pulse wave amplitude. Am Heart J, 146(1), 168–174. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0002-8703(03)00094-2

Kwaśniewska, M., Kostka, T., Jegier, A., Dziankowska-Zaborszczyk, E., Leszczyńska, J., Rębowska, E., Orczykowska, M., & Drygas, W. (2016). Regular physical activity and cardiovascular biomarkers in prevention of atherosclerosis in men: A 25-year prospective cohort study. BMC Cardiovasc Disord, 16(1), 65. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12872-016-0239-x

Libby, P., Ridker, P. M., & Maseri, A. (2002). Inflammation and atherosclerosis. Circulation, 105(9), 1135–1143. https://doi.org/10.1161/hc0902.104353

Liu, Y., Lee, D.-C., Li, Y., Zhu, W., Zhang, R., Sui, X., Lavie, C. J., & Blair, S. N. (2019). Associations of resistance exercise with cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Med Sci Sports Exer, 51(3), 499–508. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0000000000001822

Moerland, M., Kales, A. J., Schrier, L., van Dongen, M. G. J., Bradnock, D., & Burggraaf, J. (2012). Evaluation of the EndoPAT as a tool to assess endothelial function. Int J Vasc Med, 2012, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/904141

Rakobowchuk, M., McGowan, C. L., de Groot, P. C., Hartman, J. W., Phillips, S. M., & MacDonald, M. J. (2005). Endothelial function of young healthy males following whole body resistance training. J Appl Physiol, 98(6), 2185–2190. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.01290.2004

Rossi, R., Nuzzo, A., Origliani, G., & Modena, M. G. (2008). Prognostic role of flow-mediated dilation and cardiac risk factors in post-menopausal women. J Am Col Card, 51(10), 997–1002. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2007.11.044

Rubinshtein, R., Kuvin, J. T., Soffler, M., Lennon, R. J., Lavi, S., Nelson, R. E., Pumper, G. M., Lerman, L. O., & Lerman, A. (2010). Assessment of endothelial function by non-invasive peripheral arterial tonometry predicts late cardiovascular adverse events. Eur Heart J, 31(9), 1142–1148. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehq010

Sandoo, A., Veldhuijzen van Zanten, J. J. C. S., Metsios, G. S., Carroll, D., & Kitas, G. D. (2010). The endothelium and its role in regulating vascular tone. Open Cardiovasc Med J, 4(1), 302–312. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874192401004010302

Schmidt, J. F., Andersen, T. R., Andersen, L. J., Randers, M. B., Hornstrup, T., Hansen, P. R., Bangsbo, J., & Krustrup, P. (2015). Cardiovascular function is better in veteran football players than age-matched untrained elderly healthy men: Veteran football and cardiovascular function. Scan J Med Sci Sports, 25(1), 61–69. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12153

Spence, A. L., Carter, H. H., Naylor, L. H., & Green, D. J. (2013). A prospective randomized longitudinal study involving 6 months of endurance or resistance exercise. Conduit artery adaptation in humans: Vascular adaptations following exercise training. J Physiol, 591(5), 1265–1275. https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2012.247387

The top 10 causes of death. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

van Hinsbergh, V. W. M. (2012). Endothelium—Role in regulation of coagulation and inflammation. Semin Immunopathol, 34(1), 93–106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00281-011-0285-5

Widlansky, M. E., Gokce, N., Keaney, J. F., & Vita, J. A. (2003). The clinical implications of endothelial dysfunction. J Am Col Card, 42(7), 1149–1160. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0735-1097(03)00994-x

Xu, Y., Arora, R. C., Hiebert, B. M., Lerner, B., Szwajcer, A., McDonald, K., Rigatto, C., Komenda, P., Sood, M. M., & Tangri, N. (2014). Non-invasive endothelial function testing and the risk of adverse outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging, 15(7), 736–746. https://doi.org/10.1093/ehjci/jet256

Zhao, Y., Vanhoutte, P. M., & Leung, S. W. S. (2015). Vascular nitric oxide: Beyond eNOS. J Pharmacol Sci, 129(2), 83–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphs.2015.09.002


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Davis, D. W., Garver, M. J., Stone, W. J., Penumetcha, M., Hair, J. N., & Philipp, N. M. (2022). Endothelial function and arterial stiffness in young adults with histories of chronic resistance activity. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 17(2), 358–369. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2022.172.11



Sport Medicine, Nutrition & Health

Most read articles by the same author(s)