‘Exercise lowers risk of death in men with hypertension’

13 May 2014

Elderly men with high blood pressure can lower their risk of death by exercising, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Charles Faselis, lead author of the study, claims that going for a brisk 20 to 40 minute walk every day can help reduce the chances of dying from the condition. 

By using a standard treadmill test, the research team were able to assess the fitness of 2,153 men aged 70 and over with high blood pressure (hypertension).

They then applied metabolic equivalents (METs) -  the international units to measure physical health - to determine the participants' peak levels of exercise capacity.

Peter Kokkinos, senior author of the study, commented: "To put this in perspective, the peak MET level of a sedentary 50-year-old is about five to six METs.”

After a follow-up period of around nine years, researchers were able to determine that the risk of death was 11 per cent lower for every one-MET increase in exercise capacity.

Mr Kokkinos continued: “Although this does not sound like a big drop in the death rate, the impact of it is revealed when we compared low-, moderate- and high-fit individuals to the least fit, who achieved less or equal to four METs."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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