Comparison of Acute Arterial Responses Following a Rescue Simulation and Maximal Exercise in Professional Firefighters

Vanessa Santos, Luís Miguel Massuça, Luís Monteiro, Vítor Angarten, Mark G. Abel, Bo Fernhall, Helena Santa-Clara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular events are the leading cause of on-duty deaths among firefighters. Screening firefighters for risk of sudden cardiac event is a critical element of a comprehensive medical program. Although intense physical exertion has been shown to trigger sudden cardiac events in the general population, it is unclear how hemodynamic responses following clinical exercise testing compare to that of performing firefighting tasks in personal protective equipment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare hemodynamic responses following rescue simulation (RS) and maximal exercise in firefighters. This was a cross-over repeated measures study. Thirty-eight professional firefighters (31.8 ± 5.2 yr; VO2peak: 57.9 mL/kg/min) completed a maximal aerobic exercise test (MAET) and an RS. Pulse wave velocity (PWV), pulse pressure (PP), and brachial and central mean arterial pressure (MAP) were measured before and 5 and 15 min post-exercise. The findings indicated that femoral PWV decreased after MAET and RS at both time points (p < 0.005). No significant differences were found in aortic and carotid PWV over time or between conditions (p ≥ 0.05). Significant increases in brachial and central PP and MAP were noted 5 min post-MAET and RS (p = 0.004). In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that peripheral arterial stiffness (AS) decreased in firefighters following both conditions, with no differences in central AS. Our findings provide valuable information on hemodynamic responses similar between RS and MAET, and are important for controlling CVD risk and the AS response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1032
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • arterial stiffness
  • firefighter
  • pulse wave velocity
  • rescue simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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