African Health Sciences

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Effect of interval training programme on pulse pressure in the management of hypertension: A randomized controlled trial

L Sikiru, GC Okoye


Background: Pulse pressure (PP), might be a stronger determinants of cardiovascular risk.

Objective: To investigate the effect of interval training program on PP in subjects with hypertension.

Methods: Two hundred and forty five male patients with mild to moderate (Systolic Blood Pressure [SBP] between 140-179 & Diastolic Blood Pressure [DBP] between 90-109 mmHg) essential hypertension were age-matched and grouped into exercise and control groups. The exercise (work: rest ratio of 1:1) groups involved in an 8-weeks interval training programs of between 45-60 minutes, at intensities of 60-79% of HR max (maximum heart rate), while the control group remained sedentary during this period. SBP, DBP, VO2max and PP were assessed.

Results: Findings of the study revealed significant correlation between PP and blood pressure; correlation of PP with SBP was much stronger (95% variance). Also, there was significant effect of the exercise training program on SBP, DBP and PP. Changes in VO2max also negatively correlated with changes in PP (r= -.285) at p<0.05.

Conclusion: Moderate intensity interval training programs is effective in the non-pharmacological management of
hypertension and may prevent cardiovascular event through the down regulation of PP in hypertension.

Key words: Hypertension, Interval exercise, pulse pressure, cardiovascular risk factor, Blood pressure.
AJOL African Journals Online