Exercise in patients with hypertension

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A progressive increase in arterial stiffness with aging contributes to systolic hypertension that results in left ventricular hypertrophy and concentric remodeling in the elderly. Lowering of blood pressure in older adults reduces cardiovascular risks. Endurance exercise training can lower blood pressure in older adults with mild (grade I) hypertension. However, the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise training, compared with antihypertensive medications, is generally modest for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Exercise training alone is likely to be ineffective in lowering blood pressure sufficiently in older adults with moderate to severe (grade II and higher) hypertension. However, exercise and weight loss may potentiate the effects of antihypertensive medications in these subjects. Low-intensity endurance exercise training appears to be most effective in reducing blood pressure in older hypertensive adults. Metabolic adaptations to exercise training can significantly reduce other risk factors for coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, in addition to reducing blood pressure. Endurance exercise training improves exercise capacity and quality of life, and can induce a modest but significant regression of left ventricular hypertrophy and remodeling in older adults with hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


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