The life span of human beings is partially influenced by genetic factors, but outcomes of aging are profoundly influenced by lifestyle and other environmental factors. Age-related modifications of the cardiovascular system are preserved by antiaging lifestyle interventions such as physical activity and caloric restriction. Accordingly, physical activity and low body mass index reduce mortality in older men with cardiovascular diseases. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the protective effect of lifestyle interventions against cardiovascular diseases in the elderly, including a reduction of vulnerability (i.e., the age-related reduction of endogenous mechanisms protective against pathologic insults). The age-related reduction of ischemic preconditioning, the most powerful endogenous protective mechanism against myocardial ischemia, is restored by both physical activity and caloric restriction. Thus, older persons can implement lifestyle practices that minimize their risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine