Chronic effect of resistance training on blood pressure in older adults with prehypertension and hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis

João S. Henkin, Ronei S. Pinto, Carlos L. F. Machado, Eurico N. Wilhelm*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The chronic antihypertensive effect of resistance training (RT) has been widely recognized in mixed-aged populations. However, the specific effect of RT on blood pressure (BP) in older individuals (≥60 years) remains unknown. Therefore, this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials explored the chronic effects of dynamic RT alone on BP in older people. The study followed the PRISMA statement, and the search was performed using MeSH terms “strength training”, “blood pressure” and “aged” on MEDLINE (PubMed), SCOPUS, and Web of Science databases. From 1783 potential articles, 24 studies met all inclusion criteria resulting in 835 participants randomized into 26 RT interventions (n = 430) and 24 control groups (n = 405). Overall, BP reduction favoring RT was observed both in SBP (−6.88 [−10.02, −3.73] mmHg) and DBP (−3.37 [−4.71, −2.22] mmHg). Subgroup analysis revealed BP decreases in both participants with hypertension (SBP: −10.42 [−15.67, −5.17]; DBP: −3.99 [−5.76,-2.22] mmHg), and prehypertension (SBP: −4.87 [−7.76, −1.98]; DBP: −2.77 [−4.88, −0.66] mmHg). Improvement in BP was found in studies using traditional RT (free weights and machines) (SBP: −7.04 [−11.04, −3.05]; DBP: −2.60 [−3.72, −1.47] mmHg) and elastic band interventions (SBP: −2.79 [−3.72, −1.86]; DBP:-1.68 [−3.18, −0.18] mmHg). RT performed at moderate intensity (60–80 % 1RM) reduced SBP (−6.98, [−11.93, −2.03]mmHg) and DBP (−3.64 [−5.11, −2.18] mmHg). In conclusion, RT can reduce BP in older people at prehypertensive and hypertensive stage, with traditional RT performed with moderate loads leading to an effect estimate of approximately −7 mmHg for SBP and −4 mmHg for DBP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112193
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental gerontology
Early online date16 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023

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