Efficacy of Graded Exercise Training and Antihypertensive Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Hypentension.
This investigation was necessitated by the rife criticism of antihypertensive drug use by its practitioners, due mainly to the attendant problems and deleterious side effects of this therapeutic approach. Moreover, 'drug' is commonly used in the treatment of hypertension in Nigeria. Under the framework of this research, a daring interdisciplinary attempt was made to explore the efficacy of incorporating prescribed exercises into the prevailing drug therapy of chronic hypertension. This was conceived on the basis of documented reductive effects of exercise on some risk factors which are escalated following antihypensive chemotheraphy. Thirty Nigerian men and women comprising of 20 chronically hypertensive and 10 normotensive adults, age 40 to 60 years, served as subjects for this study. These subjects were selected following an initial screening for medical fitness aimed at isolating cases potentially precluding participation in the training programme. After due selection, the qualified candidates were stratified into three study groups namely: EDG, NEG, DG, whose treatments comprised exercises and drugs, exercises only, and drugs only, respectively. The issue of sex was balanced for the three groups. The Ball State University, Winsic, U.S.A., Jog-walk-jog exercise programme which has been recommended as safe and effective for all people of all ages was adapted for this study. The training intensity was harmonised for all participants at the prescribed safe and adequate workload, using the sliding rule. Such drugs as methylopa, lexotan, clonidine, and viscaldix were applied either singly or in combination. The antihypertensive drugs were administered by certified medical professionals. The research design adopted is the experimental pre-post design with control groups. The coronary risk factor was employed. All measurements were made under controlled laboratory conditions using standard procedure. The experimental treatment lasted for 12 weeks. The results of this study asserted the supreme therapeutic effects of incorporated exercise and antihypertensive drugs over exclusive antihypertensive drug use in the treatment of hypertension among this group of Nigerians. In fact, the group treated with a combination of exercises and drugs experienced greater lowering of all the risk factors than the group placed solely on antihypertensive drugs. Significant differences were obtained for systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol, percent body fat and fasting blood sugar. The body fat percent and serum cholesterol concentration increased following 3 months of exclusive drug treatment. In addition, certain side effects of outstanding physiological import such as palpitation, a felling of dizziness and emptiness in the head, coupled with prostate gland enlargement occured in those placed on chemotherapy alone. It was concluded, therefore, that a regimen of recommended exercises and antihypertensive drugs runners, with no apparent detrimental effect, over and above exclusive antihypertensive drug consumption. It was recommended among other things that the clinical validity of the proffered therapy be further investigated.