A cross-sectional study of ageing and cardiovascular function over the baboon lifespan

Kristen R. Yeung, Christine L. Chiu, Suzanne Pears, Scott J. Heffernan, Angela Makris, Annemarie Hennessy, Joanne M. Lind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Ageing is associated with changes at the molecular and cellular level that can alter cardiovascular function and ultimately lead to disease. The baboon is an ideal model for studying ageing due to the similarities in genetic, anatomical, physiological and biochemical characteristics with humans. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the changes in cardiovascular profile of baboons over the course of their lifespan. Methods: Data were collected from 109 healthy baboons (Papio hamadryas) at the Australian National Baboon Colony. A linear regression model, adjusting for sex, was used to analyse the association between age and markers of ageing with P < 0.01 considered significant. Results: Male (n = 49, 1.5-28.5 years) and female (n = 60, 1.8-24.6 years) baboons were included in the study. Age was significantly correlated with systolic (R2 = 0.23, P < 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (R2 = 0.44, P < 0.001), with blood pressure increasing with age. Age was also highly correlated with core augmentation index (R2 = 0.17, P < 0.001) and core pulse pressure (R2 = 0.30, P < 0.001). Creatinine and urea were significantly higher in older animals compared to young animals (P < 0.001 for both). Older animals (>12 years) had significantly shorter telomeres when compared to younger (<3 years) baboons (P = 0.001). Conclusion: This study is the first to demonstrate that cardiovascular function alters with age in the baboon. This research identifies similarities within cardiovascular parameters between humans and baboon even though the length of life differs between the two species.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0159576
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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