Meta-analyses have demonstrated that isometric handgrip training (IHT) decreases blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. Nonetheless, most studies were conducted in laboratory settings and its effects in real-world settings remain unclear.
To analyze the eﬀects of IHT on office and ambulatory blood pressure in hypertensive patients attended within primary healthcare.
DESIGN AND SETTING:
Randomized controlled trial conducted in primary healthcare units within the Family Health Program, Petrolina, Pernambuco, Brazil.
63 hypertensive patients (30-79 years old; 70% female) were randomly allocated into IHT or control groups. IHT was performed three times per week (4 x 2 minutes at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction, one-minute rest between bouts, alternating the hands). Before and after the 12-week training period, office and ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate variability were obtained. The signiﬁcance level was set at P < 0.05 (two-tailed testing) for all analyses.
IHT signiﬁcantly decreased office systolic blood pressure (IHT: 129 ± 4 versus 121 ± 3 mmHg, P < 0.05; control: 126 ± 4 versus 126 ± 3 mmHg, P > 0.05), whereas there was no effect on diastolic blood pressure (IHT: 83 ± 3 versus 79 ± 2 mmHg, P > 0.05; control: 81 ± 3 versus 77 ± 3 mmHg, P > 0.05). Heart rate variability and ambulatory blood pressure were not altered by the interventions (P > 0.05 for all).
IHT reduced office systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients attended within primary care. However, there were effects regarding diastolic blood pressure, ambulatory blood pressure or heart rate variability.