Postexercise Hypotension as a Predictor for Long-Term Training-Induced Blood Pressure Reduction: A Large-Scale Randomized Controlled Trial

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Objective:To investigate the correlation between acute exercise effects and chronic training effects on blood pressure (BP).Design:Randomized, controlled training study focusing on the optimization of preventive effects of physical training.Setting:The study was performed in a university department.Participants:One hundred twenty-seven healthy, untrained subjects.Intervention:Subjects were divided into 4 groups: interval endurance training (IET) (n = 26, 4 × 4 min at 95% maximal heart rate), continuous endurance training (CET) (n = 23, 45 minutes at 60% heart rate reserve), strength endurance training (SET) (n = 40, 8 machine-based exercises, each 2 x 15 repetitions at the 20 repetition maximum), and control (CON) (n = 38). In the 3 training groups, subjects trained 3 times a week for 6 months, the CON group was asked to retain their sedentary lifestyle.Main Outcome Measures:The acute exercise effect on BP was defined as the change of BP after an exhaustive stage test, compared with baseline. The chronic training effect on BP was determined as the change of resting BP after the 6-month training period.Results:For CET, a significant correlation between acute and chronic effects on systolic (r = 0.66, P = 0.001) and diastolic (r = 0.66, P = 0.001) BP was observed. For SET, a significant correlation (r = 0.45, P = 0.007) was found only for diastolic BP. No significant correlations were found for IET.Conclusions:It can be assumed that postexercise hypotension is an easy-to-use predictor for the efficacy of CET to reduce BP, and may be a valuable tool for physicians to individualize prescribed training schedules for patients to reduce cardiovascular risk.Trial; ID: NCT01263522.

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