BACKGROUND: Exercise lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular function, but little is known about whether exercise impacts cardiovascular morbidity and mortality independent of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and LV geometry. DESIGN: Observational analysis of prospectively obtained echocardiographic data within the context of a randomized trial of antihypertensive treatment. METHODS: A total of 937 hypertensive patients with ECG LVH were studied by echocardiography in the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension study. Baseline exercise status was categorized as sedentary (never exercise), intermediate (30 min twice/week). During 4.8-year follow-up, 105 patients suffered the primary composite endpoint of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or cardiovascular death. MI occurred in 39, stroke in 60, and cardiovascular death in 33 patients. RESULTS: Sedentary individuals (n = 212) had, compared with those physically active (n = 511), higher heart rate (P<0.001), weight (P<0.001), body surface area (P = 0.02), body mass index (P<0.001), LV mass (LVM, P = 0.04), LVM indexed for height or body surface area (P = 0.004); thicker ventricular septum (P = 0.012) and posterior wall (P = 0.016); and larger left atrium (P = 0.006). Systolic variables did not differ. In Cox regression analysis, physically active compared with sedentary patients had lower risk of primary composite endpoint [odds ratio (OR): 0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26-0.68, P < 0.001], cardiovascular death (OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.22-0.1.10, NS), and stroke (OR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.13-0.49, P < 0.001) without significant difference for MI (OR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.35-1.75, NS) independent of systolic blood pressure, LVM index, or treatment. CONCLUSION: In hypertensive patients with LVH, physically active patients had improved prognosis for cardiovascular endpoints, mortality, and stroke that was independent of LVM.
2009. Vol. 16, no 2, 242-248 p.