30 males, suffering from ischemic heart dissease (IHD), and stable exertional angina pectoris, whose age ranged from 60 to 74 years and also 15 apparently healthy volunteers of the same age participated in the study. The IHD patients’ blood displayed increased basal levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and met-enkephalins. During graded physical exercise two types of hormonal system response were established: in the first group of patients the plasma ACTH and cortisol levels were seen to rise at maximal threshold load, while in the second group the content of the above hormones declined. The first group of patients showed a less economical hemodynamic response to standard loading in comparison to the second group. A relation was found between changes in hemodynamic system and function of pituitary-adrenal system in elderly IHD patients during physical exercise. Inadequate ACTH and cortisol increase in the course of effects of stress contributed to IHD aggravation in old age, along with reduced tolerance to physical exercise. β-Adrenoblocker, propranolol, influenced both types of hormonal response, thereby diminishing their shifts in physical stress.

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