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Diet and exercise training reduce blood pressure and restore alteration in autonomic modulation in women with prehypertension

      Despite mortality from heart disease has decreased substantially in recent decades, the decline of cardiovascular death in women remains lower than in men. Hypertension (HT) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Therefore therapeutic approaches to prevent or delay the onset of HT would be valuable in women. Given this background, we investigated the effect of diet and exercise training on blood pressure (BP) and autonomic modulation in women with PHT. Ten women with PHT (39±2 years, mean±SEM) and 10 with normotension (NT) (35±2 years) underwent diet and exercise training during 12 weeks. Autonomic modulation was assessed through heart rate (HR) and systolic BP (SBP) variability before and after the intervention. Women with PHT had higher SBP (PHT: 128±2 vs. NT: 110±2 mmHg, p0.05) and lower HR variability [standard deviation of normal-to-normal beats (SDNN) - PHT: 42±3 vs. NT: 59±4 ms, p0.05; total power (TP) - PHT: 1397±190 vs. NT: 3508±912 ms2, p0.05] at preintervention than women with NT. After the intervention, peak oxygen consumption and muscular strength increased (p0.05), while waist circumference decreased in both groups (p0.05). Moreover, SBP decreased (p0.05) and HR variability increased after intervention only in the PHT group (SDNN post: 53±5 ms, p0.05 vs. pre; TP post: 2137±351 ms2, p0.05 vs. pre). In conclusion, diet and exercise training reduced BP and restored alteration in autonomic modulation in women with PHT.
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