Seamus P. Whelton; Ashley Chin, MPH, MA; Xue Xin, MD, MS; Jiang He, MD, PhD
Grant Support: By the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (R01HL60300).
Requests for Single Reprints: Jiang He, MD, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue SL18, New Orleans, LA 70112; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Mr. Whelton: Princeton University, Mailbox 2162, Princeton, NJ 08544.
Ms. Chin and Dr. He: Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue SL18, New Orleans, LA 70112.
Dr. Xin: Department of Biostatistics, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue SL18, New Orleans, LA 70112.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: S.P. Whelton, A. Chin, J. He.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: S.P. Whelton, A. Chin, X. Xin, J. He.
Drafting of the article: S.P. Whelton, J. He.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: S.P. Whelton, A. Chin, X. Xin, J. He.
Final approval of the article: S.P. Whelton, A. Chin, X. Xin, J. He.
Provision of study materials or patients: S.P. Whelton, X. Xin.
Statistical expertise: X. Xin, J. He.
Obtaining of funding: J. He.
Collection and assembly of data: S.P. Whelton, A. Chin, X. Xin, J. He.
Physical activity has been associated with reduced blood pressure in observational epidemiologic studies and individual clinical trials. This meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials was conducted to determine the effect of aerobic exercise on blood pressure.
English-language articles published before September 2001.
54 randomized, controlled trials (2419 participants) whose intervention and control groups differed only in aerobic exercise.
Using a standardized protocol and data extraction form, three of the investigators independently abstracted data on study design, sample size, participant characteristics, type of intervention, follow-up duration, and treatment outcomes.
In a random-effects model, data from each trial were pooled and weighted by the inverse of the total variance. Aerobic exercise was associated with a significant reduction in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure (−3.84 mm Hg [95% CI, −4.97 to −2.72 mm Hg] and −2.58 mm Hg [CI, −3.35 to −1.81 mm Hg], respectively). A reduction in blood pressure was associated with aerobic exercise in hypertensive participants and normotensive participants and in overweight participants and normal-weight participants.
Aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive persons. An increase in aerobic physical activity should be considered an important component of lifestyle modification for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.
Whelton SP, Chin A, Xin X, et al. Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:493–503. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-136-7-200204020-00006
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(7):493-503.
Cardiology, Coronary Risk Factors, Hypertension, Nephrology.
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