Resistance Exercise Training is More Effective than Interval Aerobic Training in Reducing Blood Pressure During Sleep in Hypertensive Elderly Patients

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An appropriate fall in blood pressure (BP) during sleep is known to be related to a lower cardiovascular risk. The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of different types of training on hypertensive elderly patients under treatment in terms of pressure variability assessed by the nocturnal decline in BP. Hypertensive elderly subjects under pharmacological treatment were randomly assigned to the following groups: 12 weeks of continuous aerobic training (CA), interval aerobic training (IA), resistance training (R), or control (C). All subjects underwent ambulatory blood pressure monitoring prior to and 24 hours after the last exercise session. The results were assessed using the mixed effects model. A greater nocturnal decline in diastolic BP compared to the wakefulness period was observed in R in comparison to C (11.0±4.1 vs. 6.0±5.7 mmHg, p=0.01) and to IA (11.0±4. vs. 6.5±5.1 mmHg, p=0.02). No fall in BP during a 24-hour period was observed in training groups compared to C, perhaps because the subjects were mostly non-dippers, for whom the effect of training on BP is found to be lower. In conclusion, resistance training promoted a greater nocturnal fall in BP among hypertensive elderly subjects under treatment compared to IA subjects.

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