A test that facilitates this approach is the ramp test, in which gradual changes in work can be individualized considering the patient’s age, fitness, disease status, and the purpose of the test. Recently our laboratory compared individualized ramp treadmill and cycle ergometer tests with commonly used standard protocols. Ws noted that the slope of the relationship between changes in work rate and changes in measured oxygen uptake were highest when using the ramp tests compared with commonly used incremental protocols. These findings have a number of clinical implications regarding predicting oxygen uptake, exercise prescription, and improving the test in general. The following is a descriptive report that expands these prior results by reviewing our experience with 200 apparently healthy individuals using an individualized ramp treadmill protocol.
One hundred seventy-three male and 27 female subjects (mean age, 45± 13 years) participated in the study. They were selected to fit into hypertensive (mean diastolic blood pressure >85 mm Hg on 24-h ambulatory monitoring, n=47) or normotensive (mean diastolic blood pressure <85 mm Hg on 24-h ambulatory monitoring, n = 153) groups. All subjects were otherwise healthy and had no history of cardiovascular disease. None were taking medications at the time of the study. Subject characteristics are presented in Table 1. All rights and privileges were honored in accordance with an established human subjects protocol, and informed consent was obtained.
Table 1—Subject Characteristics (Mean±SD)
|Male||n = 173|
|Female||n = 27|
|Age, yr||45± 13|
|Weight, kg||84 ±13.5|