5 hours of moderate exercise weekly during young age may prevent hypertension later: Study
USA: There is a need to increase the moderate physical activity (PA) levels currently recommended by 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines for hypertension prevention, suggests a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
According to the study, five hours of moderate exercise weekly, which is double the physical activity level recommendations, are needed at age 18 in order to prevent the risk of high blood pressure at the age of 60 than simply meeting the minimum guidelines.
There is no certain definition for the optimum physical activity dose to achieve during young adulthood for hypertension prevention using the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines. In this study, Jason M. Nagata, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, and colleagues aimed to determine the association between level and change in physical activity through the adult life course and the onset of hypertension using these 2017 definitions.
For the purpose, the researchers analyzed prospective community-based cohort data of 5,115 Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study participants in 2020. The cohort included Black and White men and women aged 18–30 years at baseline (1985–1986) at 4 urban sites that was collected ants were analyzed. The cohort included Black and White men and women aged 18–30 years at baseline (1985–1986) at 4 urban sites, collected through 30 years of follow-up (2015–2016). For each participant, individualized physical activity trajectories were developed using linear mixed models.
Key findings of the study include:
- Black women reported the lowest physical activity levels from young adulthood through middle age.
- Lower physical activity score (per 100 units) at age 18 years was associated with 4% higher odds of hypertension incidence.
- Each additional 1-unit reduction per year in physical activity score was associated with 2% higher annual odds of hypertension incidence.
- Meeting approximately the current minimum physical activity guideline levels at age 18 years and through follow-up was not protective of hypertension incidence; however, meeting approximately twice the current minimum physical activity guideline level at age 18 years and through follow-up was protective of hypertension incidence.
"Moderate physical activity levels may need to exceed current minimum guidelines to prevent hypertension onset using 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definitions," concluded the authors. "Public health interventions may emphasize longer durations of PA to prevent hypertension."
The study titled, "Physical Activity and Hypertension From Young Adulthood to Middle Age," is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.