Football as a treatment for hypertension in untrained 30–55-year-old men: a prospective randomized study

Authors


Corresponding author: Lars Juel Andersen, Department of Sports Cardiology, Gentofte University Hospital, Niels Andersens Vej 65, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark. E-mail: ljuel@ofir.dk

Abstract

The present study investigated whether football has favorable effects in the treatment of mild-to-moderate arterial hypertension in untrained middle-aged men. Twenty-five untrained males aged 31–54 year with mild-to-moderate hypertension were randomized to a football training group (FTG, two 1-h sessions per week) and a control group receiving physician-guided traditional recommendations on cardiovascular risk factor modification (doctoral advice group, DAG). After 3 months, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were lowered (P<0.05) by 12 ± 3 and 7 ± 1 mmHg in FTG, respectively, whereas no significant changes were observed for DAG, with the 3 months values being lower (P<0.05) in FTG than DAG (SBP: 138 ± 2 vs 148 ± 2 mmHg; DBP: 84 ± 2 vs 92 ± 2 mmHg). The resting heart rate was lowered (P<0.05) by 12 ± 2 b.p.m. in FTG after 3 months (67 ± 3 vs 79 ± 3 b.p.m.), whereas no change was observed for DAG. After 3 months, FTG had higher (P<0.05) VO2max (8 ± 2%; 35.0 ± 1.6 vs 32.5 ± 1.3 mL/min/kg) and lower (P<0.05) fat mass (1.7 ± 0.6 kg), whereas no change was observed for DAG. In conclusion, football training is an attractive non-pharmacological supplement to the treatment of mild-to-moderate arterial hypertension in untrained middle-aged men.

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