Isolated systolic hypertension is present in the majority of older women. Exercise is an attractive antihypertensive lifestyle therapy for older women with isolated systolic hypertension, but the amount of exercise needed to reduce blood pressure (BP) is not clear. Evidence is accumulating that lower levels of physical exertion are associated with decreased BP. The authors sought to determine if BP was related to daily time spent moving. Participants were 109 women (mean +/- SD, 75.2+/-7.2 yr). A majority (63.3%) had hypertension, and 48.6% had isolated systolic hypertension. Systolic BP was lower among women moving > or =5 h/d (142.2+/-18.7 mm Hg) than those moving <5 h/d (149.8+/-19.0 mm Hg) (p=0.038). Multiple regression analysis indicated that the potentially strong confounding effects of antihypertensive medication use, adiposity, and age did not eliminate these favorable associations between daily time spent moving and systolic BP. Older women should be encouraged to regularly engage in physical activities typical of everyday life such as walking because of its BP benefits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine