20 Sep Better Fitness May Delay Increased Blood Pressure Due To Aging
Xuemei Sui, MD, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science
Division of Health Aspects of Physical Activity
Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
First, blood pressure is inversely associated with cardiorespiratory fitness levels among men. People in higher fitness categories had lower blood pressure than those in lower fitness categories.
Second, fitness is a strong effect modifier for the systolic blood pressure aging trajectory.
A higher fitness level can significantly delay the natural age-associated increase in blood pressure.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Sui: Some findings are unexpected. For example, fitness is not an effect modifier for the diastolic blood pressure aging trajectory.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Sui: Our findings underscore the potential effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on systolic blood pressure trajectories with aging over the adult life span in men. Promoting fitness to extend the duration of normal systolic blood pressure might reduce the potential risk of developing hypertension. Meeting the current physical activity guideline (accumulating at least 150 minutes moderate-intensity of physical activity in a week. For example, brisk walk, jogging, running, swimming etc) will move most of people out of the low fitness category.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Sui: The mechanisms by which fitness modifies the relationship between aging and blood pressure deserves further investigation, particularly in those with hypertension or other forms of cardiovascular disease.