Exercise training in patients with pulmonary and systemic hypertension: A unique therapy for two different diseases.
Sommaire de l'article
Pulmonary hypertension is a potentially life-threatening condition. Given its evolving definition, the incidence and prevalence of the disease is difficult to define, but registries suggest an increased global awareness. The management of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension is highly specialised and requires multi-disciplinary input from a range of healthcare professionals, including cardiologists, respiratory physicians, rheumatologists, rehabilitation physicians and cardio-pulmonary physiotherapists. Historically, exercise training in pulmonary hypertension has not been recommended because of safety concerns. However, an increasing number of studies have demonstrated the benefit of exercise training on exercise capacity, peak oxygen consumption and quality of life. Systemic hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and has been ranked as the leading cause for death and disability worldwide: therefore, adequate control of blood pressure is important for public health. Lowering of blood pressure and prevention of hypertension is in first instance preferable by lifestyle changes. These include weight loss, moderation of alcohol intake, a diet with increased fresh fruit and vegetables, reduced saturated fat, reduced salt intake, reduced stress, and, finally, increased physical activity. With regard to the latter, former guidelines predominantly recommended aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, and cycling for lowering blood pressure. The main focus of this narrative overview paper is to briefly examine and summarize the benefit of exercise training in patients with pulmonary and systemic hypertension, suggest mechanisms by which exercise may improve symptoms and function and provide evidence-based recommendations regarding the frequency and intensity of exercise in these patients.