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Video: Exercise In Treating Hypertension Can Be As Effective As Medication
Exercise in treating hypertension can be as effective as medication
Endurance exercise and dynamic exercise effectively reduce systolic blood pressure, can not replace medication.
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Exercise can be as effective as drugs for lowering high systolic blood pressure, a first-of-its-kind analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows.
Systolic blood pressure (SBP) - the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and pushes blood into the arteries; expressed as the top number in any blood pressure (BP) reading.
To date, there are no direct comparisons between exercise and blood pressure medications. Therefore, the team of scientists pooled data from 194 clinical studies examining the effect of drugs on systolic blood pressure, and 197 studies examining the effect of structured exercise, which involved 39,742 people.
Structured exercises have been classified as follows:
endurance (walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, high-intensity interval training);
- dynamic exercises, including strength training such as dumbbells or kettlebells;
- isometric exercises ("plank");
- combination of different types of exercises.
Three series of analyzes were performed (first for all participants and then for the group of participants with high blood pressure):
all types of exercise versus all classes of blood pressure lowering drugs;
- different types of exercise versus different types of drugs;
- different intensity of exercise compared to different doses of medication.
The results showed that people who took the medication had lower BP than those who followed structured exercise programs.
But when we analyzed a group of participants with high blood pressure, exercise was as effective as most drugs. Moreover, the effectiveness of exercise increases with the increase in the threshold value used to determine high blood pressure (above 140 mmHg).
There was also strong evidence for the effectiveness of a combination of endurance exercise and dynamic exercise in reducing SBP.
These results are not intended to persuade patients to opt out of blood pressure-lowering drugs in favor of exercise, although increased physical activity is necessary. According to statistics, about 40% of adults in the United States and many European countries are physically inactive.
The researchers also note that the number of prescriptions for blood pressure lowering drugs has skyrocketed in recent years. This trend is likely to continue as the US threshold for high SBP has been lowered to 130 mmHg.
However, substituting exercise for drugs can be challenging because people with high blood pressure often have several chronic conditions.
“We do not think, based on our research, that patients should stop taking their antihypertensive drugs. But we hope our findings will guide evidence-based discussions between clinicians and their patients,”concluded study lead author Dr. Huseyin Naci of the Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science. London School of Economics and Political Science).