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Article
October 16, 1991

Failure of Exercise to Reduce Blood Pressure in Patients With Mild HypertensionResults of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (Dr Blumenthal); Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Mass (Dr Siegel); and the Department of Psychology, George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn (Dr Appelbaum).

From the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (Dr Blumenthal); Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Mass (Dr Siegel); and the Department of Psychology, George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn (Dr Appelbaum).

JAMA. 1991;266(15):2098-2104. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470150070033
Abstract

Objective.  —To assess the effects of physical exercise training on blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension.

Design.  —Randomized controlled trial.

Setting.  —Hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation program.

Patients.  —Ninety-nine men and women with untreated mild hypertension (systolic blood pressure, 140 to 180 mm Hg; diastolic blood pressure, 90 to 105 mm Hg) were included in the volunteer sample.

Interventions.  —Subjects were randomly assigned to a 4-month program of aerobic exercise training, strength and flexibility training, or to a waiting list control group.

Main Outcome Measures.  —The main outcome measures were systolic and diastolic blood pressures measured four times with a random zero sphygmomanometer on 3 separate days in a clinic setting.

Results.  —After 4 months of exercise training, subjects in the aerobic exercise group did not exhibit greater reductions in blood pressure than subjects in the control group. We expected a differential decline of 5 mm Hg between the aerobic exercise and waiting list control groups and found a difference of -1.0±16 mm Hg and -1.2±10 mm Hg at α=.05 for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively.

Conclusions.  —Moderate aerobic exercise alone should not be considered a replacement for pharmacologic therapy in nonobese patients with mild hypertension.(JAMA. 1991;266:2098-2104)

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