Korean J Sports Med.  2019 Dec;37(4):162-170. 10.5763/kjsm.2019.37.4.162.

Effects of Isometric Handgrip Exercise versus Aerobic Exercise on Arterial Stiffness and Brachial Artery Flow-Mediated Dilation in Older Hypertensive Patients

  • 1Department of Sport Science, College of Arts and Physical Education, University of Seoul, Seoul, Korea. syjae@uos.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Community Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.


Isometric handgrip exercise (IHE) is an easy and accessible form of exercise that has beneficial effects on blood pressure (BP). However, it remains unclear whether IHE is similar benefits on arterial stiffness and endothelial function compared with aerobic exercise (AE) in elderly hypertensive patients. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of IHE versus AE on arterial stiffness and endothelial function in elderly hypertensive patients.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial with a three-arm design. Fifty-four elderly hypertensive patients (15 men; mean age, 69±6 years; systolic blood pressure, 131.2±14.7; diastolic blood pressure, 80.2±7.9 mm Hg) were randomized to IHE training (n=18), AE training (n=21), or non-exercise control group (n=21) for 12 weeks. Bilateral IHE training was performed four times of 2 minutes at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction with three times per week. AE training was performed brisk walking for 30 minutes at moderate intensity with three times per week. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index heart rate corrected (AIx@75 bpm) and brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) as indices of arterial stiffness and endothelial function were measured at baseline and after the intervention.
Following 12-week intervention, resting BP was significantly decreased in both IHE (p=0.001) and AE groups (p=0.002). AIx@75 bpm and FMD were unchanged in the all groups. However, PWV was significantly decreased in both IHE and AE groups (IHE, 10.9±2.3 to 9.9±2.1 m/s [p<0.001]; AE, 10.5±2.0 to 9.4±1.6 m/s [p=0.001]), without any change in the control group.
These findings suggest that both IHE and AE trainings were comparable effect in improving arterial stiffness in elderly hypertensive patients.


Aged; Hypertension; Isometric contraction; Vascular stiffness; Vasodilation
Full Text Links
  • KJSM
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr