In a new study, researchers found that higher blood pressure during exercise and delayed blood pressure recovery after exercise are linked to a higher risk of heart disease and death among middle-aged to older adults.
The research was conducted by a team at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).
.Blood pressure responses to exercise are significant markers of cardiovascular disease and mortality risk in young to middle-aged adults.
However, few studies have examined the associations of midlife blood pressure responses to submaximal (less than the maximum of which an individual is capable) exercise with the risk of cardiovascular outcomes and mortality in later life.
evaluated the association of blood pressure changes and recovery with indicators of preclinical disease among participants from the Framingham Heart Study (average age 58 years, 53 percent women).
They then followed these participants to assess whether these blood pressure changes were associated with the risk of developing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or dying.
The team observed that both higher exercise systolic blood pressure (SBP) and exercise diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were linked to a greater risk of developing hypertension.
Additionally, both delayed SBP and DBP recovery after exercise was associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
The team says the way blood pressure changes during and after exercise provides important information on whether people will develop the disease in the future.
This may help researchers evaluate whether this information can be used to better identify people who are at higher risk of developing hypertension and CVD or dying later in life.
The team recommends that people know their blood pressure numbers, speak to their physician regarding changes during and after exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle (including a regular physical activity schedule) to help lower the risk of disease later in life.
The lead author of the study is Vanessa Xanthakis, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and biostatistics at BUSM.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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