Aftereffects of exercise on regional and systemic hemodynamics in hypertension.
Several studies have indicated that a single bout of physical exercise induced a significant antihypertensive effect during the hours after the activity. However, little information is presently available on the underlying hemodynamic changes. We examined 13 essential hypertensive patients and nine normotensive subjects in a randomized, crossover study design during 3 hours after a 30-minute period of upright leg cycling at 50% of peak aerobic capacity and during 3 hours after a 30-minute control period of rest. Blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, total peripheral resistance, and regional vascular resistance in the forearm as well as venous plasma catecholamine concentrations were measured repeatedly. After exercise, systolic (-11 +/- 2 mm Hg) and diastolic (-4 +/- 1 mm Hg) blood pressures, total peripheral resistance (-27 +/- 5%), forearm vascular resistance (-25 +/- 6%), and plasma norepinephrine levels (-21 +/- 7%) were significantly (p less than or equal to 0.05) decreased, and cardiac output was increased (+31 +1- 8%) compared with control in hypertensive subjects. In contrast, in normotensive subjects blood pressure, forearm vascular resistance, and plasma norepinephrine were unchanged, and systemic hemodynamics changed to a lesser extent than in hypertensive subjects after exercise. It is concluded that a decrease in regional vascular resistance in skeletal muscles and possibly in the skin in hypertensive patients may contribute importantly to the antihypertensive effect of prior exercise. A decreased sympathetic nervous activity, as seen from lower plasma norepinephrine levels, may be involved in this effect.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association