The effects of exercise on haemodynamic function in relation to the familial hypertension risk model

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Abstract

Offspring hypertensives are characterized by a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system and other early cardiovascular abnormalities that increase the risk of developing hypertension. A physically active lifestyle is associated with a lower risk of hypertension, although the mechanisms are incompletely understood and likely to be multifactorial. One aspect that has received little attention is the interaction of exercise with familial hypertension risk. The present review examines the effects of exercise on haemodynamic function in relation to the familial hypertension risk model. Paradoxically, exercise may be viewed as potent stressor to the cardiovascular system, although recent studies are beginning to show that cardiovascular adaptations, primarily mediated by changes in sympatho-vagal balance, following both acute and chronic exercise may be particularly important for individuals with familial risk of hypertension. Future studies that focus on inflammatory, metabolic, and genetic pathways may uncover further beneficial effects of exercise in relation to familial risk.

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