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Isometric handgrip does not elicit cardiovascular overload or post-exercise hypotension in hypertensive older women

Authors Olher R, Bocalini DS, Bacurau RF, Rodriguez D, Figueira Jr A, Pontes Jr F, Navarro F, Simões H, Araujo RC, Moraes MR

Received 21 November 2012

Accepted for publication 5 January 2013

Published 5 June 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 649—655


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Rafael dos Reis Vieira Olher,1,2,* Danilo Sales Bocalini,3,* Reury Frank Bacurau,4 Daniel Rodriguez,5 Aylton Figueira Jr,5 Francisco Luciano Pontes Jr,4 Francisco Navarro,6 Herbert Gustavo Simões,1 Ronaldo Carvalho Araujo,7 Milton Rocha Moraes8

1Universidade Católica de Brasília, Distrito Federal, 2Universidade Gama Filho, Rio de Janeiro, 3Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE), São Paulo, 4Universidade de São Paulo – Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades, São Paulo, 5Universidade São Judas Tadeu (USJT), São Paulo, Brazil, 6Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Maranhão, 7Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, São Paulo, 8Universidade Federal de São Paulo – Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Arterial hypertension is a serious health problem affecting mainly the elderly population. Recent studies have considered both aerobic and resistance exercises as a non-pharmacological aid for arterial hypertension treatment. However, the cardiovascular responses of the elderly to isometric resistance exercise (eg, isometric handgrip [IHG]) have not yet been documented.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate cardiovascular responses to different intensities of isometric exercise, as well as the occurrence of post-isometric exercise hypotension in hypertensive elderly people under antihypertensive medication treatment.
Patients and methods: Twelve women volunteered to participate in the study after a maximal voluntary contraction test (MVC) and standardization of the intervention workload consisting of two sessions of IHG exercise performed in four sets of five contractions of a 10-second duration. Sessions were performed both at 30% of the MVC and 50% of the MVC, using a unilateral IHG protocol. Both intensities were compared with a control session without exercise. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) at rest (R), during peak exercise (PE), and after 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes of post-exercise recovery were evaluated.
Results: No significant changes were observed after isometric exercise corresponding to 30% MVC for either SBP (R: 121 ± 10; PE: 127 ± 14; 5 min: 125 ± 13; 10 min: 123 ± 12; 15 min: 122 ± 11; 30 min: 124 ± 11; 45 min: 124 ± 10; 60 min: 121 ± 10 mmHg) or DBP (R: 74 ± 9; PE: 76 ± 6; 5 min: 74 ± 5; 10 min: 72 ± 8; 15 min: 72 ± 5; 30 min: 72 ± 8; 45 min: 73 ± 6; 60 min: 75 ± 7 mmHg). Similarly, the 50% MVC did not promote post-isometric exercise hypotension for either SBP (R: 120 ± 7; PE: 125 ± 11; 5 min: 120 ± 9; 10 min: 122 ± 9; 15 min: 121 ± 11; 30 min: 121 ± 9; 45 min: 121 ± 9; 60 min: 120 ± 7 mmHg) or DBP (R: 72 ± 8; PE: 78 ± 7; 5 min: 72 ± 7; 10 min: 72 ± 8; 15 min: 71 ± 7; 30 min: 72 ± 8; 45 min: 75 ± 10; 60 min: 75 ± 7 mmHg).
Conclusion: Our data reveal that cardiovascular overload or post-exercise hypotension did not occur in elderly women with controlled hypertension when they undertook an IHG session. Thus this type of resistance exercise, with mild to moderate intensity, with short time of contraction appears to be safe for this population.

Keywords: hypertension, resistance exercise, elderly, cardiovascular response, antihypertensive medication, isometric exercise

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