Changes Attributed To The Aging Process

Various aspects of lung function gradually decline with aging in clinically healthy individuals (Rossi et al., 1996; Chan and Welsh, 1998), and these changes affect the lung as well as the respiratory pump (see Table 60.1). Notable changes include alterations in lung matrix that lead to remodeling, and physiologic changes in chest wall dynamics and respiratory muscle function. Elastin, which displays very little turnover in the adult lung (Shapiro et al., 1991), has been reported to decrease gradually in alveolar walls (D'Errico et al., 1989). Additionally, serum elastin peptide levels appear to decrease with advancing age (Frette et al., 1997), suggesting altered mechanisms of lung homeostasis, remodeling, and repair. These changes in lung elastins combined with alterations in another key matrix component, collagen (changes in intermolecular cross-linking plus a shift to insoluble collagens), are a likely cause of progressive decline in lung elastic recoil.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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