A controlled study of the effects of aerobic exercise on antihypertensive drug requirements of essential hypertensive patients in the general practice setting

D H Allen, I B Puddey, A R Morton, L J Beilin
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology 1991, 18 (5): 279-82
1. To investigate the effect of an exercise training programme on antihypertensive drug requirements, 19 sedentary subjects (14 men and five women) with mild essential hypertension (systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mmHg but less than 180 mmHg), aged 29-55 years, were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of moderate intensity exercise or light intensity exercise (control), and titrated on antihypertensive drug therapy (captopril and hydrochlorothiazide) until resting systolic blood pressure (sitting) of less than 140 mmHg was achieved. 2. The moderate exercise group (n = 11) followed a graded walk-jog programme to greater than 60% age-predicted maximum heart rate (HRmax), attending 45 min sessions, three times each week. The light exercise group (n = 8) followed a programme of flexibility (stretching exercises) and walking to less than 60% age-predicted HRmax, attending 45 min sessions, three times each week. 3. There was no difference between treatment groups for the level of reduction in both resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure over the 16 weeks (15.64 +/- 10.6/12.81 +/- 9.97 mmHg in the moderate intensity group and 15.31 +/- 10.9/7.7 +/- 7.1 mmHg in the light intensity group). The change in 24 h ambulatory blood pressure profile was also similar in both treatment groups. The final antihypertensive drug requirements to achieve these changes in blood pressure was not significantly different between the two treatment groups. This was despite a significant improvement in submaximal exercise performance in the moderate intensity exercise group (P less than 0.001). 4.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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