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

nd II hypertension who were older than 55 years, received no current treatment with antihypertensive medications, displayed an absence of symptomatic coronary artery and peripheral arterial diseases, and had no history of myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic aneurysm, significant valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure, or noncardiac chronic conditions that might interfere with exercise testing or training. Additionally the test subjects must not have used tobacco or had a sedentary lifestyle (defined as regular exercise less than one time a week) or geographical or job constraints that might prevent the them from regular participation in a supervised exercise training program.

After exclusions, 28 patients randomized either to a group (n = 16, age: 66.4 1.3 yrs old) that exercised or to a group (n = 12, age: 65.3 1.2 yrs old) that received hydrochlorothiazide for six months.

Endurance exercise training induced a 15% increase peak in aerobic power and consisted of increased time on a treadmill with increases in grade 2 percent every 2 minutes until exhaustion or development of symptoms or signs including ECG changes that were considered unsafe to continue. Blood pressure, cholesterol, plasma readings (volume and insulin) were administered.

The exercise endurance group participated in a five-month-long program; the test subjects receiving a thiazide diuretic received hydrochlorothiazide 25 to 50 mg daily with supplemental K+ 20 mEq daily for six months. The rationale for using thiazide was based on the recommendation by the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure for older people with mild-to-moderate hypertension. Compliance with medication was verified by the "pill count."

Results

The findings revealed that endurance exercise training of mild-to-moderate intensity can induce a partial regression of LVH with reductions in LV mass i
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29-Jun-2004


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