Gender Differences and The Cardiovascular Response to Aerobic Exercise

Student: Robert Lewis*
Mentor: Eleni Diakogeorgiou
Major: Athletic Training

The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine the degree to which certain cardiovascular (CV) responses differ between genders during aerobic exercise, along with how healthcare professionals could use this information to create an individualized and safe rehabilitation protocol for patients. The research presented in this paper focused on peer-reviewed journals found in online databases through the Sacred Heart University Library, including PubMed Central, Wiley Online Library, EBSCOhost, and ScienceDirect. To ensure the accuracy of the information in this meta-analysis, this paper analyzed studies that incorporated males and females of all ages, an aerobic exercise intervention, a comparison group of non-aerobic forms of exercise, and studies that yielded results in favor of or negate the research topic. The key words involved in the research of this study were “aerobic exercise”, “gender differences”, “physical activity”, “age”, “cardiovascular”, “adults”, “autonomic nervous system”, and “physiological”. Data synthesis demonstrated that despite different intervention methods, researchers were able to yield strong evidence and results that validated the research topic. This research paper compared data results from numerous studies, yielding that aerobic exercise correlated with a CV protective response that had greater significance in men than women, correlated with maximal exercise total peripheral resistance (TPRmax), caused a decreased heart rate (HR), produced an increase in cardiac vagal modulation and an individual’s ability to adapt to exercise, and an inverse relationship between maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and maximal cardiac output (Qmax) with age. This research study discovered other findings, including a positive effect of aerobic exercise on maximal exercise blood pressure (MBPmax) that only occurred in women and an increased left ventricular remodeling and changes in filling dynamics post-exercise that only occurred in men. The previously listed CV responses to aerobic exercise play a significant role in prescribing patients with an aerobic exercise protocol that will maintain a safe rehabilitation environment."

*Honors Senior