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VIII - High blood pressure and special cases

8.1 - High blood pressure and sport
8.2 - High blood pressure and obesity
8.3 - High blood pressure and pregnancy
8.4 - High blood pressure and elderly
8.5 - High blood pressure and children
8.6 - High blood pressure and contraception
8.7 - Influence of hormones on high blood pressure (case of the post-menopausal woman)
8.8 - Influence of life style modification on blood pressure

8.1- High blood pressure and sport

Taking part in sport can involve a reduction of the blood pressure, only if this sport is practised in a regular way (at least once per week) without any competition. Indeed, during the effort the blood pressure rises in a moderate way for moderate efforts, but the blood pressure can reach very high values if the effort is extreme.

Medical studies have showed that a regular participation in sport can induce at rest a 5 to 25 millimetres of mercury reduction for the systolic blood pressure (the " maximum one ") and from 3 to 15 millimetres of mercury reduction for the diastolic one (the " minimal one ").

The blood pressure begins to lower 3 weeks after the sport training, but it often takes at least 6 months to judge its effectiveness.

In addition to its beneficial effect on the blood pressure, the regular practice of a sport involves a reduction of cholesterol, of the fatty mass to the benefit of the thin mass. Moreover, it exerts an anti-stress effect and makes blood more fluid.

Thus, taking part in sport helps fight against the arteriosclerosis disease, responsible for the appearance of cholesterol plates in the arteries (the benefit is proportional to the intensity of the effort).

- Particular precautions:

If you are not a sportsman or woman, or if you do not regularly practise a sport anymore, the practice of a sport will have to be very progressive and we advise you to speak to your practitioner about it.

Thus, the practitioner may prescribe the realization of an effort-test to observe the value of your blood pressure and supervise the cardiac activity during the effort.

This examination will be prescribed in particular for the subjects who have cardiovascular risk factors in addition to high blood pressure: obesity, tobacco, hypercholesterolemia, male sex or post-menopausal woman, diabetes.

- Evaluation of the effectiveness:

Your physician or yourself (if you have a self-measurement device) will measure the blood pressure which must be lower than 140/90 mm of mercury.

In case of doubt, your practitioner can prescribe you an ambulatory blood pressure measurement for 24 hours.

If the high blood pressure is not cured, an antihypertensive drug therapy can be given.

- Antihypertensive drug therapy of the high blood pressure and sport:

We have to be very careful because a few drugs are regarded as doping products: beta-blockers and the diuretics ones (supporting the emission of urine).

Beta-blockers do not constitute a good choice because they limit the capacity for making an effort.

It is rare for the calcium channel antagonist to be responsible for muscular pains during the effort. The other drugs (central alpha agonist, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, Angiotensine receptor antagonist) can be prescribed.

File last modified on : 28 sep 2003

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