Aerobic exercise is a powerful mechanism by which cardiovascular and autonomic parameters may be improved. We sought to quantify the extent of benefit that could be achieved by a short-term monitored exercise regimen on several autonomic parameters during recognized mental and physical stressors in young normotensive African-American men matched for a family history of hypertension, a group at high risk for the development of hypertension. Autonomic modulations were derived using spectral decomposition of the electrocardiogram and beat-to-beat blood pressures (BPs). Arterial compliance was obtained using contour analysis of the radial artery pulse wave. The analysis of variance revealed that compared with a matched sedentary control group, aerobic capacity of the trained group significantly increased by 16%. Autonomic modulations, arterial compliance and BP responses significantly improved during some of the stressors, whereas no such improvements were seen in the control group. Attenuated responses, mediated through a favourable shift in sympathovagal balance and enhanced arterial compliance, provide mechanistic evidence of how certain variables may be improved due to aerobic conditioning in a population at high risk for the development of hypertension.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine