Impact of the aging pulmonary system on the response to exercise

Clin Chest Med. 1994 Jun;15(2):229-46.


The older adult demonstrates several alterations in the ventilatory response to exercise relative to the young adult. These differences are primarily caused by the aging-induced loss of elastic recoil of the lung, which reduces expiratory airflow rates along the effort-independent portion of the maximal volitional flow-volume envelope. Despite these distinctions in the response to exercise of the aged adult, alveolar ventilation is adequate for carbon dioxide elimination (even during maximal exercise), and arterial oxygen homeostasis is generally maintained.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Exercise Test*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Lung Volume Measurements*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange*
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena*