Endurance exercise found to be equally effective as diuretics in improving cardiac health

e medications in reducing LV or enlarged cardiac mass in older hypertensive patients.

A New Study

These were the issues addressed in a study that studied older adults with mild hypertension randomized into exercise and thiazide (diuretics that increase the excretion of sodium and chloride) groups to characterize (1) adaptive changes in LV mass, geometry, and function; and (2) the metabolic and hormonal changes in response to exercise training and to determine whether these adaptive responses were associated with alterations in LV mass, geometry and function.

The study's authors speculated that endurance exercise training in older adults with mildhypertension could reduced blood pressure, relative LV wall thickness, heart enlargement, and hyperinsulinemia and that the effect of endurance exercise training on regression of LVH and LV remodeling is similar in magnitude to that induced by the thiazide diuretic.

The authors of "Comparison of the Effects of Exercise and Diuretic on Left Ventricular Geometry, Mass, and Insulin Resistance in Older Hypertensive Adults, are Morton R. Rinder, Robert J. Spina, Linda R. Peterson, Christopher J. Koenig, Christa R. Florence, and Ali A. Ehsani, all from the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Their findings are published in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrativ and Comparative Physiology. The journal is one of 14 published each month by the American Physiological Society (http://www.the-aps.org).

This study focused on the left ventricle relative wall thickness in addition to left ventricle mass because in hypertension LV remodeling appears to be as good or even better predictor of LV dysfunction and cardiac risk factor than LVH.


After an initial screening of 639 subjects, the researchers identified and recruited 51 eligible subjects with grade I a


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