Strength training for arterial hypertension treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

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Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world and arterial hypertension (AH) accounts for 13.8% of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases. Strength training interventions could be an important alternative tool for blood pressure control, however, consistent evidence and the most effective training protocol for this purpose are yet to be established. The current study used the Cochrane methodology to systematically review randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effect of strength training on blood pressure in hypertensive patients. A systematic search was conducted in the PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and World Health Organization databases. This review included controlled trials that evaluated the effect of strength training for 8 weeks or more in adults with arterial hypertension, published up to December 2020. Data are described and reported as the weighted mean difference of systolic and diastolic pressure and a 95% confidence interval. Protocol registration: PROSPERO registration number CRD42020151269. A total of 14 studies were identified, including a combined total of 253 participants with hypertension. The meta-analysis showed that mean values of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased significantly after strength training interventions. The strongest effect of strength training on decreasing blood pressure was observed in protocols with a moderate to vigorous load intensity (> 60% of one-repetition maximum-1RM), a frequency of at least 2 times per week, and a minimum duration of 8 weeks. We concluded that strength training interventions can be used as a non-drug treatment for arterial hypertension, as they promote significant decreases in blood pressure.





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Scientific Reports, v. 13, n. 1, 2023.

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