Leg strength is associated with ventilatory efficiency in older women

J. U. Gonzales, S. H. Tucker, M. J. Kalasky, D. N. Proctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to determine if leg function is associated with ventilatory efficiency during exercise in healthy older adults. 24 women and 18 men aged 60-80 years performed treadmill exercise to fatigue for calculation of ventilatory efficiency using the ratio of ventilation to carbon dioxide at the anaerobic threshold (VE/VCOAT). On a separate day, participants performed leg strength testing and graded single-leg knee extension exercise. The VE/VCOAT was higher in women than men (33±3 vs. 30±3; p=0.03). After adjustment for age and VO leg strength (knee extensor isometric force) was inversely associated with VE/VCOAT in women (r= 0.44, p=0.03) while no relationships were found for men. Strength-matched women and men had similar VE/VCOAT indicating that the correlation between leg strength and VE/VCOAT was strength- but not sex-specific. During knee extensor exercise, women with lower leg strength had increased VE/VCOslope across 0-15 W as compared to higher strength women (38±8 vs. 31±3; p<0.05), while no differences were found for men. These results find leg strength to be associated with ventilatory responses to exercise in healthy older women, a finding that might be related to lower leg strength in women than men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-542
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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