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Hypertension. 2002 Mar 1;39(3):761-6.

Blood pressure response to heart rate during exercise test and risk of future hypertension.

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Department of Hygiene, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan.


Previous works have shown that exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise is a valid risk marker for future hypertension, yet the use of an exercise test as a means of early prediction of hypertension still requires methodological development and confirmation. The purpose of this study was to determine abnormal ranges of blood pressure responses in relation to heart rate increase during exercise and to examine the clinical utility of exercise blood pressure measurement in evaluating individual risk for developing hypertension. We examined exercise test data from a population-based sample of 1033 nonmedicated normotensive men (mean age, 42.9+/-8.5 years; range, 20 to 59 years). Percentile curves of systolic and diastolic blood pressure responses to relative heart rate increments during submaximal exercise were constructed using a third-order polynomial model with multiple regression analysis. Of the original study sample, a cohort of 726 subjects was followed for hypertensive outcome for an average period of 4.7 years. Progression to hypertension, defined as a blood pressure of > or =140/90 mm Hg or the initiation of antihypertensive therapy, was found in 114 subjects (15.4%). Kaplan-Meier survival estimates showed that the cumulative incidence of hypertension increased progressively with higher percentiles of systolic and diastolic blood pressure response (both, P<0.01). A Cox proportional survival analysis revealed a significantly increased risk for developing hypertension associated with exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise after multivariable adjustments for traditional risk factors (relative risk, 3.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 6.1). These results suggest that an exaggerated blood pressure response to heart rate during exercise is predictive of future hypertension independent of other important risk factors and lend further support to the concept that blood pressure measurement during exercise test is a valuable means of identifying normotensive individuals at high risk for developing hypertension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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