for Blood Pressure
Dreyfuss, Associated Press
Life's frustrations can raise a person's blood pressure, but exercise
and weight control can rein in the health risks, a study finds.
can be just as demanding, and the kids just as ornery. However,
a healthier lifestyle can reduce the chance that stress-related
high blood pressure, over time, will lead to a heart attack or
stroke, researchers said.
for decreased risk is that you are having less response to activities
of daily living,'' said Patrick R. Steffen of Brigham Young University.
study, done while Steffen was at Duke University, looked at 112
overweight or obese men and women with an average age of 48. Their
blood pressure at the start of the study was either high or just
below the threshold for high, a condition called high-normal.
Average systolic reading for the group, the high number of the
two that comprise blood pressure, was about 142; the minimum for
hypertension is 140.
were divided into three groups. An aerobic exercise-only group
worked out three or four times a week on stationary bikes or in
a program that started with walking and worked up to jogging.
An exercise-and-diet group did the same exercises and took part
in a weight management program to shed one or two pounds a week.
The third group maintained pre-study lifestyles, and served as
part of the experiment happened while the participants were on
their own. All wore ambulatory blood pressure cuffs that recorded
readings automatically about four times an hour until bedtime.
The inflation of the cuff was the participants' cue to make diary
entries about their mood at the time, and what they were doing
physically, such as watching TV, driving or walking.
group had lower blood pressure readings during high emotional
stress than did the exercise-only or the control group, the study
found. Exercisers had some similar improvements but not nearly
exercise are common prescriptions for treatment of hypertension.
But the study showed weight loss had a greater effect than exercise
did, said the study's senior author, James A. Blumenthal of Duke.
think you are lowering your blood pressure by exercise, it's not
going to be all that much,'' Blumenthal said. ``Combining exercise
with dietary changes is where you are going to see the change
in daily life and under stress.''
of 33 participants in the diet-and-exercise group who had hypertension
at the start of the program no longer were hypertensive at the
end, Blumenthal said. The same could be said for 13 of 30 people
who did only exercise, and 2 of 17 controls.
the results are pretty profound,'' said a separate researcher,
Dr. Barry A. Franklin, director of cardiac rehabilitation at William
Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich. The findings show that exercise
and diet don't just reduce stress reactions in the lab, they work
in a patient's life, he said.
long term, if this reduces reactivity to stress, there is good
evidence it will reduce your likelihood of heart attack and stroke,''
said researcher Christopher R. France of Ohio University.
published in the October issue of the American College of Sports
Medicine journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,
assume heightened importance because of a separate study published
in the Nov. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The New England
Journal article compared people with high-normal blood pressure
to those with optimal pressure. The report said that over 10 years,
those with high-normal blood pressure had a 150 percent to 250
percent greater risk of heart disease or stroke. Dr. Ramachandran
Vasan of Boston University School of Medicine said his findings
point out the need for lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure.
of MedSci article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed;
use Steffen and Blumenthal as search terms.
Journal article: https://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/345/18/1291
Heart Association (news
Reference Source 102