Short-term strenuous exercise training: effects on blood pressure and hormonal levels in mild hypertension

  • P. A. Sullivan
  • C. Grosch
  • D. Lawless
  • D. T. O’Connor


The effect of a six-week strenuous exercise training programme (modified Bruce protocol, treadmill, three times per week) on resting and exercising blood pressure, heart rate, plasma catecholamines, chromogranin A, renin activity and aldosterone levels was investigated in 15 patients with mild hypertension. An identical exercise test was conducted at baseline and study close (six weeks). At follow-up, seven to ten days after study close, patients completed an exercise test of equivalent intensity to that at baseline, achieving comparable heart rate levels at maximal exercise. On each occasion, blood pressure, heart rate and hormonal variables were measured at rest (supine), maximal exercise and ten minutes after stopping exercise. Resting and exercising blood pressure and heart rate were reduced by the six-week exercise regimen. There was a trend, although not statistically significant, for resting plasma noradrenaline levels to be lower at study close. The reduction in blood pressure and heart rate at maximal exercise was associated with a significant attenuation of the plasma renin response to exercise. Plasma catecholamines also appeared to be lower after exercise training, although this effect was not statistically significant. Plasma levels of chromogranin A and aldosterone measured at rest and maximal exercise were not influenced by the exercise regimen. Further controlled studies are required to corroborate the results of this preliminary study.


Aldosterone Exercise Training Renin Activity Maximal Exercise Plasma Catecholamine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Arakawa, K. Non-pharmacologic measures for lowering blood pressure. Cardiovasc. Drugs Ther. 1989: 3, 847–852.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Duncan, J. J, Farr, J. E., Upton, J., Hagan, R. D., Oglesby, M. E., Blair, S. N. The effects of aerobic exercise on plasma catecholamines and blood pressure in patients with mild essential hypertension. JAMA 1985: 254, 2609–2613.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nelson, L., Jennings, G. L., Esler, M. D., Kroner, P. L. Effect of changing levels of physical activity on blood-pressure and haemodynamics in essential hypertension. Lancet 1986: 2, 473–476.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hagberg, J. M., Montain, S. J., Martin, W. H., Ehsani, A. A. Effect of exercise training in 60 to 69-year-old persons with essential hypertension. Am. J. Cardiol. 1989: 64, 348–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jennings, G., Nelson, L., Nestrel, al. The effects of changes in physical activity on major cardiovascular risk factors, haemodynamics, sympathetic function, and glucose utilization in man: a controlled study of four levels of activity. Circulation 1986; 1, 30–40.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Urata, H., Tanbe, Y., Kiyonaga, al. Antihypertensive and volume-depleting effects of mild exercise in essential hypertensive patients. Hypertens 1987: 9, 245–252.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hagberg, J. M., Goldring, D., Ehsani, A. al. Effect of exercise training on blood pressure and haemodynamic features of hypertensive adolescents. Am. J. Cardiol. 1983: 52, 763–768.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sullivan, P. A., Grosh, C, Lawless, D. Strenuous short-term dynamic exercise: effects on heart rate, blood pressure, potassium homeostasis, and packed cell volume in mild hypertension. J. Hypertens 1989: 7 (suppl. 6): S90-S91.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    O’Connor, D. T. Plasma chromogranin A: initial studies in human hypertension. Hypertens 1985: 7 (suppl. 1): 176–179.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kaplan, N. Clinical hypertension. 1986: Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Peuler, J. D., Johnson, G. A. Simultaneous single isotope radioenzymatic assay of plasma norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. Life Sci. 1977: 21, 625–636.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    O’Connor, D. T., Pandian, M. R., Carlton, E., Cervenko, J. H., Hsaio, R. J. Rapid radioimmunoassay of circulating chromagranin A: in vitro stability, exploration of the neuro- endocrine character of neoplasia, and assessment of the effects of organ failure. Clin. Chem. 1989: 35, 1631–1637.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Haber, E., Koerner, T., Page, L. al. Application of radioimmunoassay for angiotensin I to the physiologic measurements of plasma renin activity in normal human subjects. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 1969: 29, 1349–1355.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kotchen, T. A., Hartley, L. H., Rice, T. W., Moughey, E. H., Jones, L. G., Mason, J. W. Renin, norepinephrine and epinephrine responses to graded exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 1971: 31, 178–184.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. Sullivan
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Grosch
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Lawless
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. T. O’Connor
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Mallow General Hospital, Mallow, Co.CorkIreland
  2. 2.Veteran’s Administration Medical CentreSan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations