Effect of interval training program on white blood cell count in the management of hypertension: A randomized controlled study
Objective: Elevated white blood cell (WBC) count is considered to be prospectively and positively associated with cardiovascular diseases, particularly hypertension. Also, the positive role of exercise in the management of hypertension has been well and long established. However the relationship between WBC count and hypertensive management particularly in the nonpharmacological technique is ambiguous and unclear. Therefore the purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of interval training program on WBC count and cardiovascular parameters in male hypertensive patients.
Materials and Methods: A total of 245 male patients with mild to moderate (systolic blood pressure (SBP) between 140 mmHg and 179 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) between 90 mmHg and 109 mmHg) essential hypertension were age matched and grouped into experimental and control groups. The experimental (n=140; 58.90±7.35 years) group involved in an 8-week interval training (60-79% HR max reserve) program of between 45 minutes to 60 minutes, while the age-matched controls hypertensive (n=105; 58.27±6.24 years) group remain sedentary during this period. Cardiovascular parameters (SBP, DBP, and VO2max) and WBC count were assessed. Student’s t and Pearson correlation tests were used in data analysis.
Results: Findings of the study revealed a significant effect of the interval training program on VO2max, SBP, and DBP and WBC count at P<0.05 and VO2max is negatively related to the WBC count (r=–0.339) at P<0.01.
Conclusions: It was concluded that the interval training program is an effective adjunct nonpharmacological management of hypertension and the therapeutic effect of exercise programs may be mediated through suppression of inflammatory (WBC count) reaction.
Key words: Exercise, hypertension, inflammation, white blood cell