Influence of Physical Activity on Hypertension and Cardiac Structure and Function


The global burden of hypertension is rising and accounts for substantial morbidity and mortality. Lifestyle factors such as diet and physical inactivity contribute to this burden, further highlighting the need for prevention efforts to curb this public health epidemic. Regular physical activity is associated with lower blood pressure, reduced cardiovascular risk, and cardiac remodeling. While exercise and hypertension can both be associated with the development of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), the cardiac remodeling from hypertension is pathologic with an associated increase in myocyte hypertrophy, fibrosis, and risk of heart failure and mortality, whereas LVH in athletes is generally non-pathologic and lacks the fibrosis seen in hypertension. In hypertensive patients, physical activity has been associated with paradoxical regression or prevention of LVH, suggesting a mechanism by which exercise can benefit hypertensive patients. Further studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying the benefits of physical activity in the hypertensive heart.

Autor / Fonte:Sheila M Hegde, Scott D Solomon Current Hypertension Reports 2015, 17 (10): 588