Effects of isometric resistance training on resting blood pressure: individual participant data meta-analysis.

Neil A. Smart, Damien Way, Debra Carlson, Philip Millar, Cheri McGowan, Ian Swaine, Anthony Baross, Reuben Howden, Raphael Ritti-Dias, Jim Wiles, Véronique Cornelissen, Ben Gordon, Rod Taylor, Bea Bleile

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Background:Previous meta-analyses based on aggregate group-level data report antihypertensive effects of isometric resistance training (IRT). However, individual participant data meta-analyses provide more robust effect size estimates and permit examination of demographic and clinical variables on IRT effectiveness.Methods:We conducted a systematic search and individual participant data (IPD) analysis, using both a one-step and two-step approach, of controlled trials investigating at least 3 weeks of IRT on resting systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure.Results:Anonymized individual participant data were provided from 12 studies (14 intervention group comparisons) involving 326 participants (52.7% medicated for hypertension); 191 assigned to IRT and 135 controls, 25.2% of participants had diagnosed coronary artery disease. IRT intensity varied (8–30% MVC) and training duration ranged from 3 to 12 weeks. The IPD (one-step) meta-analysis showed a significant treatment effect for the exercise group participants experiencing a reduction in resting SBP of −6.22 mmHg (95% CI −7.75 to −4.68; P < 0.00001); DBP of −2.78 mmHg (95% CI −3.92 to −1.65; P = 0.002); and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) of −4.12 mmHg (95% CI −5.39 to −2.85; P < 0.00001). The two-step approach yielded similar results for change in SBP −7.35 mmHg (−8.95 to −5.75; P < 0.00001), DBP MD −3.29 mmHg (95% CI −5.12 to −1.46; P = 0.0004) and MAP MD −4.63 mmHg (95% CI −6.18 to −3.09: P < 0.00001). Sub-analysis revealed that neither clinical, medication, nor demographic participant characteristics, or exercise program features, modified the IRT treatment effect.Conclusion:This individual patient analysis confirms a clinically meaningful and statistically significant effect of IRT on resting SBP, DBP and mean arterial blood pressure.Keywords: blood pressure, hypertension, individual patient data meta-analysis, isometric exercise
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1927–1938
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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