Postural differences in hemodynamics and diastolic function in healthy older men

James C. Baldi, Sophie Lalande, Graeme Carrick-Ranson, Bruce D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The shift from upright to supine posture increases stroke volume in healthy young adults, primarily through increased end-diastolic volume. Aging is associated with increased ventricular stiffness and impaired diastolic function. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the stroke volume change between the upright and supine posture was blunted in healthy older men and whether the early mitral inflow response to this postural change was reduced by aging. Pulsed Doppler echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging were used to assess stroke volume and left ventricular function during upright and supine posture in 10 young and 12 older healthy men. Cardiac output was greater in the supine versus upright condition in both groups. In young men supine posture was associated with a large increment in stroke volume (63.1 ± 7.2 upright to 98.6 ± 11.7 ml supine; P < 0.05) and a decrease in heart rate. In older men, the stroke volume increment was smaller (63.9 ± 3.6 upright to 82.0 ± 5.7 ml supine; P < 0.05) and heart rate decreased less than young men when comparing upright to supine posture. Increased stroke volume was associated with higher peak early diastolic filling velocity (E) in young men and higher peak late diastolic filling velocity (A) in older men. These findings indicate that healthy aging attenuates the increase in early filling associated with moving from an upright to a supine posture. Furthermore, healthy older men are more dependent upon atrial diastolic filling to augment end-diastolic and stroke volume, which may be due to age-associated increases in left ventricular filling pressure and impaired compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Aging
  • E/A ratio
  • Hemodynamics
  • Preload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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