Effect of exercise training in 60- to 69-year-old persons with essential hypertension

James M. Hagberg, Scott J. Montain, Wade H. Martin, Ali A. Ehsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

283 Scopus citations


This study sought to determine whether 9 months of low- or moderate-intensity exercise training could decrease blood pressure (BP) in hypertensive men and women (mean age 64 ± 3 years). Patients underwent weekly BP evaluations for 1 month to ensure that they had persistently elevated BP and then completed a maximal treadmill exercise test to exclude those with overt coronary artery disease. The low- and moderate-intensity groups trained at 53 and 73% of maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2 max), respectively; however, total caloric expenditure per week was similar in both groups. V̇O2 max did not increase in the low-intensity group with training, but increased 28% in the moderate-intensity group. Diastolic BP decreased 11 to 12 mm Hg in both training groups. Systolic BP decreased 20 mm Hg in the low-intensity group with training, which was significantly greater than the change in the control and the moderate-intensity groups. Although systolic BP decreased 8 mm Hg in the moderate-intensity training group, this reduction was not significant. Training resulted in a somewhat lower cardiac output at rest in the low-intensity group, whereas total peripheral resistance decreased slightly in the moderate-intensity training group. Plasma and blood volumes, plasma renin levels and urinary sodium excretion did not change in either group with training. Both groups manifested lower plasma norepinephrine levels after training during standing rest, but not while supine. Thus, low-intensity training may lower BP as much or more than moderate-intensity training in older persons with essential hypertension, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-353
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 1989


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of exercise training in 60- to 69-year-old persons with essential hypertension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this