Abstract: Background: Although physical activity (PA) has been shown to enhance hypertension control, the impact of exercise on the potential decrease of the use of antihypertensive medications remains inadequately researched. Aim: The aim was to assess the impact of a two-year PA on the medication requirements of individuals with hypertension. Methods: A clinical trial was conducted, involving 130 participants with essential hypertension who took at least one antihypertensive medi- cation. Participants were randomly assigned to either a control group (CG n = 65) or an experimental group (EG n = 65) that underwent a 24-month supervised PA program based on a combination of aerobic and resistance training. The antihypertensive drug load for each participant was determined by adding the ratios of the prescribed daily dose (PDD) to the defined daily dose (DDD) for all antihypertensive medications taken by the participants. The outcome measures were evaluated at 0, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Results: A total of 76 participants completed the 24-month assessment, and RM-ANOVA revealed a significantly lower antihypertensive drug load in the EG compared to the CG at 18 (p < 0.017) and 24 months (p < 0.003). Conclusion: A long-term PA program can decrease the antihypertensive drug load in older adults with essential hypertension. The trend of improvement regarding the EG drug load intake and the trend of CG drug load increase, although not significant over time, results in a significant difference between the groups at 18 months and an even greater difference at 24 months. This trend certifies the protective value of PA against the aging process and its related health risk factors
Giovanni Fiorilli;Andrea Buonsenso;Giulia Di Martino;Marco Centorbi;Antonella Angiolillo;Giuseppe Calcagno
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