Objective: Exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise is a risk factor for the development of future hypertension. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between homocysteine, epicardial fat thickness, nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, and exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise.
Participants and methods: We included 44 normotensive and 40 patients with exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise who have normal resting blood pressure and without a previous diagnosis of hypertension. All patients underwent treadmill exercise test and clinical, ultrasonographic, and echocardiographic evaluation. Exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise is defined as peak exercise systolic blood pressure of at least 210 mmHg in men and at least 190 mmHg in women. Homocysteine and other biochemical parameters were determined with standardized automated laboratory tests.
Results: Mean age of all participants is 47.9±8.5 years, and 36 of 84 participants were female. The frequency of diabetes mellitus in both groups was similar (P=0.250). Homeostasis model assessment index-insulin resistance had a statistically insignificant trend to be higher in a patient with exercise hypertension (P=0.058). The nonalcoholic fatty liver was more frequent in patients with exercise hypertension (13.6 vs. 47.5%, P=0.002). Epicardial fat thickness was increased in patients with exercise hypertension (5.5±1.5 vs. 7.3±1.1 mm; P=0.001). However, homocysteine levels did not significantly differ between normotensive and exercise hypertensive patients [12.3 μmol/l (5.7-16.9 μmol/l) vs. 13 μmol/l (5.9-28.3 μmol/l); P=0.883].
Conclusion: In our study, homocysteine levels were not associated with exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise; however, fatty liver and epicardial fat thickness as visceral adiposity-related cardiometabolic risk factors were significantly related with exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise in patients without a previous diagnosis of hypertension.