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Exercise may decrease blood flow and oxygen in hypertensive people

September 21, 2017

"In normal people, the body can increase blood flow to the working muscle despite increase in nerve activity, which tends to cause blood vessels to constrict," Dr. Vongpatanasin said. "Hypertensive patients have increased nerves and impaired ability to maintain muscle blood flow adequately."

Researchers then treated study participants with two types of blood pressure medications. An angiotensin receptor blocker, which prevents the hormone angiotensin from increasing blood pressure, increased blood flow during exercise. A diuretic that reduces blood pressure by stimulating sodium loss did not.

"Since nerve increases weren't reduced during treatment, we believe the angiotensin receptor blocker works directly on blood vessels to improve blood flow," Dr. Vongpatanasin said.

The next step, she said, will be to see if other hormones associated with angiotensin are involved in similar responses.

Source: utsouthwestern/heartlungvascular