Posted on May 09, 2012, 6 a.m.
Exercise reduces risk of death from cardiovascular disease, among people with high blood pressure (hypertension).
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the major preventable risk factors for premature death from cardiovascular disease, with every 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure doubling the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. CP Wen, from the Institute of Population Health Science, National Health Research Institute in Taiwan, and colleagues completed a prospective study involving 434,191 men and women, conducted over a period of 12 years. Of the participants, 54% were classified as inactive, 22% as low activity, and 24% as medium or higher activity. The blood pressure equivalence of physical activity was then identified by the difference in mortality risks between physically inactive and active subjects. The team found that all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality risks were significantly higher among study subjects that didn't exercise, as compared with active participants at all blood pressure levels. Moreover, the excess mortality risks of physical inactivity, when converted into a "blood pressure equivalence of physical activity" measurement, revealed that physical inactivity was similar to a rise in mortality risk equivalent to an increase in blood pressure of 40-50 mmHg.
Wen CP, et al. Presentation at World Congress of Cardiology, 19 April 2012.