Exercise Hypertension

      Exercise Hypertension is an excessive rise in blood pressure during exercise. Many of those with exercise hypertension have spikes in systolic pressure to 250mmHg or greater.According to Klaus (ref 1) a rise in systolic blood pressure to over 200mmHg when exercising at 100W is 'pathological', and rises over to over 220mmHg need control by appropriate drugs.

      In healthy individuals the response of the diastolic pressure to 'dynamic' exercise (walking, running) of moderate intensity is to remain constant or to fall slightly (due to the improved blood flow), but in some indivuals a rise of 10mmHg or greater is found.

      Recent work at Johns Hopkins with a group of older athletes (55 to 75) with mild hypertension has found a correlation of those with exercise hypertension with the reduced ability of the major blood vessels to change in size in response to increased blood flow (probably due to impaired function of the endothelial cells in the vessel walls). This is to be differentiated from stiffness of the blood-vessel walls, which was not found to be correlated with the effect.

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