Effects of high-intensity aerobic interval training vs. moderate exercise on hemodynamic, metabolic and neuro-humoral abnormalities of young normotensive women at high familial risk for hypertension

Hypertens Res. 2010 Aug;33(8):836-43. doi: 10.1038/hr.2010.72. Epub 2010 May 7.


Exercise training has an important role in the prevention and treatment of hypertension, but its effects on the early metabolic and hemodynamic abnormalities observed in normotensive offspring of hypertensive parents (FH+) have not been studied. We compared high-intensity interval (aerobic interval training, AIT) and moderate-intensity continuous exercise training (CMT) with regard to hemodynamic, metabolic and hormonal variables in FH+ subjects. Forty-four healthy FH+ women (25.0+/-4.4 years) randomized to control (ConFH+) or to a three times per week equal-volume AIT (80-90% of VO(2MAX)) or CMT (50-60% of VO(2MAX)) regimen, and 15 healthy women with normotensive parents (ConFH-; 25.3+/-3.1 years) had their hemodynamic, metabolic and hormonal variables analyzed at baseline and after 16 weeks of follow-up. Ambulatorial blood pressure (ABP), glucose and cholesterol levels were similar among all groups, but the FH+ groups showed higher insulin, insulin sensitivity, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), norepinephrine and endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels and lower nitrite/nitrate (NOx) levels than ConFH- subjects. AIT and CMT were equally effective in improving ABP (P<0.05), insulin and insulin sensitivity (P<0.001); however, AIT was superior in improving cardiorespiratory fitness (15 vs. 8%; P<0.05), PWV (P<0.01), and BP, norepinephrine, ET-1 and NOx response to exercise (P<0.05). Exercise intensity was an important factor in improving cardiorespiratory fitness and reversing hemodynamic, metabolic and hormonal alterations involved in the pathophysiology of hypertension. These findings may have important implications for the exercise training programs used for the prevention of inherited hypertensive disorder.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Endothelin-1 / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology
  • Nitrates / blood
  • Nitrites / blood
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Endothelin-1
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Norepinephrine