Effects of regular exercise on blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy in African-American men with severe hypertension

N Engl J Med. 1995 Nov 30;333(22):1462-7. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199511303332204.

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of hypertension and its cardiovascular complications is higher in African Americans than in whites. Interventions to control blood pressure in this population are particularly important. Regular exercise lowers blood pressure in patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension, but its effects in patients with severe hypertension have not been studied. We examined the effects of moderately intense exercise on blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy in African-American men with severe hypertension.

Methods: We randomly assigned 46 men 35 to 76 years of age to exercise plus antihypertensive medication (23 men) or antihypertensive medication alone (23 men). A total of 18 men in the exercise group completed 16 weeks of exercise, and 14 completed 32 weeks of exercise, which was performed three times per week at 60 to 80 percent of the maximal heart rate.

Results: After 16 weeks, mean (+/- SD) diastolic blood pressure had decreased from 88 +/- 7 to 83 +/- 8 mm Hg in the patients who exercised, whereas it had increased slightly, from 88 +/- 6 to 90 +/- 7 mm Hg, in those who did not exercise (P = 0.002). Diastolic blood pressure remained significantly lower after 32 weeks of exercise, even with substantial reductions in the dose of antihypertensive medication. In addition, the thickness of the interventricular septum (P = 0.03), the left ventricular mass (P = 0.02), and the mass index (P = 0.04) had decreased significantly after 16 weeks in the patients who exercised, whereas there was no significant change in the nonexercisers.

Conclusions: Regular exercise reduced blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy in African-American men with severe hypertension.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blacks*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / ethnology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular*
  • Indapamide / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verapamil / therapeutic use

Substances

  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Verapamil
  • Indapamide