Exercise blood pressure and heart rate responses to graded exercise testing in intermediate versus morning chronotypes with obesity

Mary Margaret E. Remchak, Jaclyn K. Dosik, Gregory Pappas, Andrew J. Gow, Ankit M. Shah, Steven K. Malin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exaggerated exercise blood pressure (BP) is linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although evening chronotypes have greater CVD risk than morning (Morn) types, it is unknown if exercise BP differs in intermediate (Int) types. Adults with obesity were classified as either Morn [n = 23 (18 females), Morning-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) = 63.96 ± 1.0, 54.74 ± 1.4 yr, 33.7 ± 0.6 kg/m2] or Int [n = 23 (19 females), MEQ = 51.36 ± 1.1, 55.96 ± 1.8 yr, 37.2 ± 1.2 kg/m2] chronotype per MEQ. A graded, incremental treadmill test to maximal aerobic capacity (V̇o2max) was conducted. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure and mean arterial pressure (MAP), rate pressure product (RPP), heart rate (HR), and rate of perceived intensity (RPE) were determined at baseline, 4 min, 6 min, and maximal stages. HR recovery (HRR; maximum postexercise) was determined at 1 and 2 min postexercise. Preexercise fasted aortic waveforms (applanation tonometry), plasma leptin, nitrate/nitrite (nitric oxide bioavailability), and body composition (dual X-ray, DXA) were also collected. Int had lower V̇o2max and plasma nitrate (both P ≤ 0.02) than Morn. No difference in preexercise BP, aortic waveforms, or body composition were noted between groups, although higher plasma leptin was seen in Int compared with Morn (P = 0.04). Although Int had higher brachial DBP and MAP across exercise stages (both P ≤ 0.05) and higher HR, RPE, and RPP at 6 min of exercise (all P ≤ 0.05), covarying for V̇o2max nullified the BP, but not HR or RPE, difference. HRR was greater in Morn independent of V̇o2max (P = 0.046). Fasted leptin correlated with HR at exercise stage 4 (r = 0.421, P = 0.041) and 6 min (r = 0.593, P = 0.002). This observational study suggests that Int has exaggerated BP and HR responses to exercise compared with Morn, although fitness abolished BP differences.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study compares blood pressure and heart rate responses with graded, incremental exercise between morning and intermediate chronotype adults with obesity. Herein, blood pressure responses to exercise were elevated in intermediate compared with morning chronotype, although V̇o2max abolished this observation. However, heart rate responses to exercise were higher in intermediate vs. morning chronotypes independent of fitness. Collectively, this exercise hemodynamic response among intermediate chronotype may be related to reduced aerobic fitness, altered nitric oxide metabolism, and/or elevated aortic waveforms.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)H635-H644
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • aortic waveforms
  • blood pressure
  • circadian rhythm
  • nitric oxide
  • obesity


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