Prevelance of Risk Factors Pre and Post Training Among Participants in the Heritage Family study

High TG Low HDL High BP High Glucose High WC

Black men

Pre 93 Post 79

100 100

43 29

43 43

White men

Pre 76 Post 63

98 93

46 42

24 7

93 76

Black women

Pre 26 Post 13

87 65

35 30

100 91

White women Pre 81 Post 62

26 22

15 19

100 93

A" level, indicating that the conclusion was based on a rich body of data from well-designed, randomized clinical trials providing a consistent pattern of results. In addition to this general finding, this report looked at the effects of the individual components of exercise training: intensity, frequency, and individual session duration. Fagard concluded that the beneficial aerobic-exercise effect was not dependent on exercise intensity (between 40 percent 70 percent of maximal exercise performance) and that the effect was similar for frequencies of three to five times per week and for session durations of 30-60 minutes.

In a somewhat larger and more recent meta-analysis, also on RCTs (n = 54), Whelton et al.32 concluded that aerobic exercise decreased diastolic and systolic blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive individuals. The effect was somewhat larger in the hypertensives (-5/-4 mm Hg) than the normotensives (-4/-2 mm Hg). Additional analyses revealed that the beneficial exercise effects were observed in Caucasians and Asians for both systolic and diastolic blood-pressure reductions. In African Americans, a significant beneficial effect was found for systolic, but not diastolic, blood pressure. Importantly, only two studies met the analysis criteria and were included in the analysis for exercise effect and diastolic blood pressure in African Americans, suggesting the need for additional studies in minorities. Several other meta-analyses have been conducted over the years, and all have reported a significant exercise effect on blood pressure.32-35 In spite of the finding of a consistent, beneficial effect of exercise on blood pressure in numerous meta-analyses, important ethnic differences exist for health parameters in general, yet a relatively small number of studies of exercise and blood pressure were found in both African Americans and Asians. While no analysis was presented for the separate effects of exercise on blood pressure in women and men, seventeen of the fifty-one trials that reported sex distribution included predominantly women (> 80 percent), while only 10 were predominantly men.

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