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Hypotensive effects of exercise training: are postmenopausal women with hypertension non-responders or responders?

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that increasing the exercise dose or changing the exercise mode would augment hypotensive effects when traditional aerobic exercise training failed to produce it in postmenopausal women. Sixty-five postmenopausal women with essential hypertension were randomly allocated into the continuous aerobic training (CAT) and non-exercising control (CON) groups. CAT group cycled at moderate intensity 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Individuals who failed to decrease systolic blood pressure (BP) were classified as non-responders (n = 34) and performed an additional 12 weeks of exercise training with either increasing the exercise dose or changing the exercise mode. The 3 follow-up groups were continuous aerobic training 3 times a week, continuous aerobic training 4 times a week, and high-intensity interval training. After the first 12 weeks of exercise training, systolic BP decreased by 1.5 mmHg (NS) with a wide range of inter-individual responses (−23 to 23 mmHg). Sixty-seven percent of women who were initially classified as non-responders participated in the second training period. Sixty percent of women who participated in continuous exercise training 3 or 4 times a week at greater exercise intensities reduced systolic BP. All (100%) of the women who performed high-intensity interval training experienced significant reductions in systolic BP. Traditional aerobic exercise was not sufficient to decrease BP significantly in the majority of postmenopausal women. However, those women who were not sensitive to recommended exercise may reduce BP if they were exposed to continuous aerobic exercise at higher intensities and/or volumes or a different mode of exercise.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the participants for their valuable contributions.

Funding

MLVF was funded by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (grant number 88887.467522/2019-00). AC was funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (grant number 2020/13939-7). MPTCM was funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological (grant number 305604/2018-0).

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Correspondence to Marina Lívia Venturini Ferreira.

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Ferreira, M.L.V., Castro, A., de Oliveira Nunes, S.G. et al. Hypotensive effects of exercise training: are postmenopausal women with hypertension non-responders or responders?. Hypertens Res (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41440-024-01721-8

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