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Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia

versão impressa ISSN 0066-782Xversão On-line ISSN 1678-4170

Arq. Bras. Cardiol. vol.93 no.4 São Paulo out. 2009 



Arterial hypertension and physical activity



Karine Zortéa; Rafaela Festugatto Tartari

Departamento de Psiquiatria do Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Hospital Santa Rita do Complexo Hospitalar Santa Casa de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS - Brazil

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Key words: Hypertension; motor activity; obesity.



Dear editor,

Borges et al1 have stressed that overweight may lead to increased susceptibility to systemic arterial hypertension (SAH), involving primarily sociodemographic factors, diet and smoking. In the population analyzed, 55.7% of the individuals did not exercise, and no significant associations were observed between physical activity and SAH. [Avaliar ajustes feitos]

It is well known that physical activity may be of help in the treatment of SAH, for its effect on weight control and health promotion. Physical activity, therefore, should be stimulated, as a means to control overweight and prevent diseases.

Silva and Lopes2 reported lower prevalence of overweight and lower body fat levels among students going to school on foot or by bicycle than in students who were passively transported to the school. The authors observed that a minor change in lifestyle, with an increase in physical activity represented by walking or biking to school, is capable of preventing overweight and increased blood pressure (BP).

Although the mechanisms are not yet completely understood, the regular practice of physical exercise is believed to decrease the levels of serum catecholamines and peripheral vascular resistance, resulting therefore in lower BP3.

The prevalence of sedentariness has not been estimated in Brazil, but it has been repeatedly mentioned as an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Sedentary individuals have a risk for SAH that is 30% higher than that of active individuals4.

Adopting healthy dietary habits and having regular physical activity should therefore be strongly stimulated among the population, to prevent SAH and stop the progression of CVD in our country.



1. Borges HP, Cruz NC, Moura EC. Associação entre hipertensão arterial e excesso de peso em adultos, Belém, Pará, 2005. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2008; 91(2): 110-8.         [ Links ]

2. Silva KS, Lopes AS. Excesso de peso, pressão arterial e atividade física no deslocamento à escola. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2008; 9 1(2): 93-101.         [ Links ]

3. Stewart KJ. Exercise and hypertension. In: ACSM's resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. USA: William & Wilkins, 1998. p. 275-87.         [ Links ]

4. Fagard RH. Physical activity, physical fitness and the incidence of hypertension. J Hypertens. 2005; 23: 265-7.         [ Links ]



Mailing address:
Karine Zortéa
Avenida dos Prazeres, 512 - Vila Jardim
91320-150 - Porto Alegre, RS - Brazil

Manuscript received September 19, 2008; revised manuscript received September 22, 2008; accepted September 22, 08.

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