Aerobic exercise found to have a therapeutic effect on hypertensive patients

A new American study sought to determine if aerobic exercise could improve the central arteries of patients with hypertension. It found out that hypertensive adults who performed acute aerobic exercises experienced stiffer aortas and greater differences between their systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, leading to an improved supply of blood to the brain.

The researchers received support from Syracuse University. They released their findings in the Journal of Hypertension.

  • The participants consisted of 30 adults with treated high blood pressure and an equal number of healthy adults. Both groups performed intense aerobic exercises by using exercise bicycles for 30 minutes.
  • Before and after the exercise, the participants were evaluated for their aortic stiffness, their carotid artery stiffness, the pressure of aortic/carotid pulses, the blood velocity pulsatility of their carotid/middle cerebral arteries, and the forward wave intensity of their carotid waves.
  • The effects of intense aerobic exercise on the hemodynamics of hypertensive patients were the same as those for healthy participants. The carotid-femoral pulse wave sped up, the indexes for both carotid and carotid/middle cerebral artery pulsatility went up as well, and the forward wave intensity also increased.
  • The aerobic exercise did not change the carotid pulse pressure. It also did not alter the beta stiffness.
  • The carotid pulsatility index improved due to the increase in forward wave intensity. In turn, this translated to a better score on the carotid/middle cerebral artery pulsatility index.

The study concluded that patients with hypertension could benefit from cardiovascular exercise in much the same way as healthy people do.

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Journal Reference:

Lefferts WK, Deblois JP, Receno CN, Barreira TV, Brutsaert TD, Carhart RL, Heffernan KS. EFFECTS OF ACUTE AEROBIC EXERCISE ON ARTERIAL STIFFNESS AND CEREBROVASCULAR PULSATILITY IN ADULTS WITH AND WITHOUT HYPERTENSION. Journal of Hypertension. 1 August 2018;36(8):1743–1752. DOI: 10.1097/hjh.0000000000001752





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