Hypertensive Patients Who Exercise
Researchers at the Institute of Population Health Science, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan, found that exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with arterial hypertension. The fact that exercise should be part of our daily work in order to lead a healthy life is already a well-known fact, but now researchers conducted a prospective study and found that exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with hypertension. They found that physical inactivity is equivalent to an increase in blood pressure with 40-50mmHg, which means a significant increase of the cardiovascular risk.
The study, which had a prospective design, was conducted on 434,190 individuals followed for 12 years. Researchers have processed the data and found that 54% of individuals were inactive, 22% had a low physical activity and 24% had moderate activity. Then results were compared by analysing the active and the inactive group. “This study is the first to quantify the impact of exercise on the risk profile of people with high blood pressure. “said CP Wen, Institute of Population Health Science, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan.
Hypertension is a major cardiovascular risk factor with a growing incidence. WHO defines hypertension as a systolic blood pressure over 140mmHg and diastolic above 90mmHg. Hypertension is the leading cause of death in the world through its consequences. It is estimated that globally affects approximately one billion individuals. The appearance and progression of hypertension involves a number of environmental factors related to lifestyle such as obesity, hyperinsulinemia, sedentary, alcohol, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, hyperuricemia. Many of these factors are confounding and act together, such as physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes, which along with high blood pressure lead to metabolic syndrome.
Inactivity is an important predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Therefore doctors recommend moderate-intensity physical activity, lasting at least 30-40 minutes daily, such as running, walking, swimming. Physical activity has many benefits, so it should be part of the lifestyle of each individual: it helps regulate metabolism, fight obesity, strengthens bones, reduces stress, prevents diabetes and heart disease etc..
Once diagnosed, high blood pressure should be treated. Otherwise, it can lead to cardiovascular complications and early death. Along with indications of a healthy lifestyle (smoking cessation, weight loss, exercise), patients with hypertension have to undergo medical treatment. Pharmacological treatment is varied and adapted according to the patient needs. Antihypertensive agents include thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and so on. All these drugs can be used alone or in combination, noting that each class has advantages and limitations and the therapeutic strategy should be adjusted to patient’s condition.