Effect of aerobic and resistance exercise training on inflammation, endothelial function and ambulatory blood pressure in middle-aged hypertensive patients

Francesco P Boeno, Thiago R Ramis, Samuel V Munhoz, Juliano B Farinha, Cesar E J Moritz, Rodrigo Leal-Menezes, Jerri L Ribeiro, Demetra D Christou, Alvaro Reischak-Oliveira
Journal of Hypertension 2020 July 15

OBJECTIVE: The current randomized controlled trial tested the hypothesis that both aerobic training and dynamic resistance training will improve inflammation, endothelial function and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in middle-aged adults with hypertension, but aerobic training would be more effective.

METHODS: Forty-two hypertensive patients on at least one antihypertensive medication (19 men/23 women; 30-59 years of age) were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of supervised aerobic training (n = 15), resistance training (n = 15) or a nonexercise control (n = 12) group. Inflammation, endothelial function, 24-h ABP and related measures were evaluated at pre and postintervention.

RESULTS: We found that aerobic training and resistance training were well tolerated. Both aerobic training and resistance training reduced daytime systolic ABP (-7.2 ± 7.9 and -4.4 ± 5.8 mmHg; P < 0.05) and 24-h systolic ABP (-5.6 ± 6.2 and -3.2 ± 6.4 mmHg; P < 0.05). aerobic training and resistance training both improved brachial artery flow-mediated dilation by 1.7 ± 2.8 and 1.4 ± 2.6%, respectively (7.59 ± 3.36 vs. 9.26 ± 2.93 and 7.24 ± 3.18 vs. 8.58 ± 2.37; pre vs. post P < 0.05). However, only aerobic training decreased markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1) and endothelin-1 and increased nitrite and nitrate levels (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Healthcare providers should continue to emphasize aerobic training for hypertension management given the established role of nitric oxide, endothelin-1 and chronic low-level inflammation in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. However, our study demonstrates that resistance training should also be encouraged for middle-aged hypertensive patients. Our results also suggest that even if patients are on antihypertensive medications, regular aerobic training and resistance training are beneficial for blood pressure control and cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

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