Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Response to Ramp Exercise and Exercise Capacity in Relation to Age, Gender, and Mode of Exercise in a Healthy Population

J Cardiol. 2013 Jan;61(1):71-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2012.09.010. Epub 2012 Nov 22.


Background: The responses of heart rate (HR) and blood pressure to the ramp exercise test are not known and the current understanding of peak oxygen uptake and anaerobic threshold (AT) values in the normal Japanese population is insufficient.

Methods and results: A total of 749 healthy Japanese subjects aged 20-78 years underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test using a cycle ergometer or treadmill ergometer with ramp protocols. HR, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and oxygen uptake VO2 at rest, at AT, and at peak exercise were determined. HR and SBP at peak exercise in a cycle ergometer and treadmill ergometer test decreased with age. Work rate at peak exercise in a cycle ergometer increased with body weight and decreased with age. VO2 at AT and at peak exercise were higher in treadmill ergometer testing than in cycle ergometer testing, and were not affected by exercise protocol. Both of these decreased with age.

Conclusions: The normal responses of HR and SBP to ramp exercise testing are reported for the first time. AT, peak VO2, and VO2 at each stage are shown for a healthy population. Some of these parameters were influenced by weight, gender, and age, as well as mode of exercise and the protocol used. These results provide useful reference values for interpreting the results of cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Anaerobic Threshold
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Constitution / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Systole
  • Young Adult