The Influence of Sex on the Relationship Between Arterial Mechanical Properties and Cardiovagal Baroreflex Sensitivity
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Cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity (cvBRS) demonstrates a strong relationship with arterial mechanical properties. Both cvBRS and arterial mechanics differ by sex such that males demonstrate greater cvBRS, yet lower large artery elasticity than females. Whether the relationship between cvBRS and arterial mechanics is similar in males and females remains unexamined. As a result, it is unclear whether arterial mechanics contribute to sex differences in cvBRS. This study investigated the cross-sectional relationship between cvBRS and arterial mechanical properties of the common carotid, carotid sinus and aortic arch (AA) in 36 (18 females) young, healthy normotensives. The cvBRS-arterial mechanics relationship did not reach statistical significance and did not differ by sex. Both cvBRS and AA distensibility were greater in females than males. Sex differences in cvBRS were eliminated after controlling for AA distensibility. These findings suggest that in this sample, AA elasticity may contribute to the greater cvBRS in females than males.