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The significance of hypertensive response to exercise as a predictor of hypertension and cardiovascular disease


Several studies have shown that exaggerated blood pressure (BP) response to exercise can predict the development of hypertension and target organ damage, but others did not. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between exaggerated BP response to exercise (ExBPR) and the development of hypertension or cardiovascular disease. We reviewed the charts of male subjects who, during the years 1991–1994, had a routine check up that included an exercise stress-test. For each subject, the following parameters were noted: age; body mass index (BMI); history of diabetes; cigarette smoking; family history of ischaemic heart disease and lipid profile. BP and heart rate at rest and during exercise were recorded as well. ExBPR was defined whenever peak exercise systolic BP or diastolic BP was over 200 mm Hg or 100 mm Hg respectively. We identified 73 males who exhibited ExBPR and matched them with a control group of 117 subjects with similar age who had a normal BP response. The mean age of the studied group was 42.6 years and the average follow-up was 5.7 years. Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. During the follow-up we observed hypertension among 22% in those with ExBPR in contrast to 2.6% in the control group (P < 0.0001). In addition, more subjects of the ExBPR group required cardiovascular medications than of those in the control group (19.2% vs 4.3%, P = 0.0008). Thus, it seems that ExBPR predicts the development of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. We therefore suggest that subjects with ExBPR should be followed more closely and be instructed for lifestyle modifications which may delay the development of such diseases.

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Correspondence to E Grossman.

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Sharabi, Y., Ben-Cnaan, R., Hanin, A. et al. The significance of hypertensive response to exercise as a predictor of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. J Hum Hypertens 15, 353–356 (2001).

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