Interactive effects of physical fitness and body mass index on the risk of hypertension

A cohort study with Sweden was conducted over a long duration of time. They measured the aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and body mass index during military consignment evaluations in Sweden from 1969 to 1997. This accounts for 97% of 18 year old men in Sweden during that duration of time. The researchers performed follow-up evaluations of these patients in 2012 to measure their degree of hypertension. The study measures the correlation between aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and body mass index in late adolescence and the degree of hypertension in adulthood. The results showed that high body mass index and low aerobic capacity combined posed the highest risk of developing hypertension later in life. In patients with normal body mass index, a low aerobic capacity still posed a significant risk of developing hypertension. All statistics were adjusted for socioeconomic status and family history.

JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(2):210-216.
I think this research is important because it shows that patients can intervene at a young age to prevent disease states like hypertension later in life. It demonstrates that diseases, even ones that seem to be hereditary like hypertension, are not always inevitable. We can take action now to lower our risk.
I think further research should be done to measure how aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and body mass index affect risk of developing hypertension in women, as well as other ethnicities.

2 thoughts on “Interactive effects of physical fitness and body mass index on the risk of hypertension”

  1. I agree with your reflection and think its important as student pharmacists that we understand that some diseases are preventative. We can play an important role in changing the behavior and educating patients on the lifestyle changes they can make in order to avoid diseases which were once thought of as unavoidable.

  2. I think this is really important to address, not only in regards to hypertension, but also for disease states such as Type 2 Diabetes. Increasing physical activity will help both of these patient populations achieve more success in reaching their blood pressure and blood glucose goals. Increasing physical activity, as well as having a healthier diet, are two lifestyle modifications that can have a huge impact on a person’s health and can reduce the number of medications that they need to take. I think that as health care providers, we need to be well educated on the impact that these changes have on a patient’s health and need to work on emphasizing these changes to patients instead of relying so heavily on starting patients on new medications or just adjusting their medications.

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