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Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health in the Elderly

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Aging is worldwide recognized as a dominant risk factor for most forms of cardiovascular disease. However, mechanisms by which it exerts its role and determines poor outcome have been only partially clarified. Numerous evidence indicate that aging is associated with alteration of several mechanisms whose ...

Aging is worldwide recognized as a dominant risk factor for most forms of cardiovascular disease. However, mechanisms by which it exerts its role and determines poor outcome have been only partially clarified. Numerous evidence indicate that aging is associated with alteration of several mechanisms whose integrity confers protective action on the heart and vasculature. Changes of neurohormonal status, diminished efficacy of ischemic preconditioning, inflammation, impaired angiogenic responses after ischemic injury, increased oxidative stress, and abnormal left ventricular remodelling after myocardial infarction are all putative mechanisms potentially involved in the vulnerability of cardiovascular system occurring with aging. Interestingly, many of the alterations that take place in the aged heart and vasculature are very similar to those observed in pathologic conditions, such as heart failure (HF), and, most importantly, are at least in part revertible.
The present Research Topic aims to focus on the ability of exercise, which plays a pivotal role in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, in counteracting the age-related deterioration of some mechanisms that are crucially involved in the homeostasis of cardiovascular system and that may condition the outcome of cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the age-induced vascular pathophysiological alterations holds promise for reducing cardiovascular mortality in an aging population.


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