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A comparative study of blood pressure responses after sustained isometric hand grip exercise test in normotensive and hypertensive Indian adults

Shalini Ranjan, Tejas T Prajapati, Sunil Karna, Hasmukh D Shah.


Background: In India, hypertension accounts for 10.8% of mortality. Isometric handgrip exercise test is reliable test to check cardiovascular responses to stress. A blood pressure response to physical stress depends on various factors such as gender, body mass index, and resting blood pressure. This study was carried out to evaluate blood pressure reactivity by isometric hand grip exercise test in hypertensive adults.

Aim and Objective: This study aims to compare the blood pressure reactivity in hypertensive subjects with the normotensive Subjects.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among 100 participants of Shree Krishna Hospital and Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, and its associated extension centers during August 2017–April 2018. Patients with following conditions were excluded (yogic, athletes, alcoholics, subjects with diabetics, or coronary artery disease). The isometric handgrip exercise was performed at an intensity of 30% maximum voluntary contraction for 1 min. Pulse rate and blood pressure were measured immediately after exercise and during recovery period of 1 min, 2 min, and 3 min.

Results: Rise of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was observed immediately after isometric exercise in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. SBP and heart rate (HR) reactivity to isometric exercise did not significantly differed between normotensive subject (ΔSBP = +14.2%, ΔHR = +7.1%) and hypertensive subject (ΔSBP = +8.5%, ΔHR = +3.1%). However, DBP reactivity to isometric exercise was significantly higher in normotensive subject (ΔDBP= +14.5%) as compared to hypertensive subject (ΔDBP= +6.8%). Failure to rise or impaired DBP reactivity was seen in hypertensives.

Conclusion: SBP, DBP, and HR were increased immediately after isometric exercise in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. However, only DBP reactivity immediately after isometric exercise was significantly impaired in hypertensive subject than normotensive subject.

Key words: Isometric Exercise; Blood Pressure; Hypertension

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