Absence of sex differences in systolic blood pressure and heart rate responses to exercise in healthy young adults

F A Maruf, U N Ogochukwu, P A Dim, A RA Alada


The influence of sex on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR) responses associated with cardiovascular morbidity, in healthy young adults was determined in ninety healthy young adults (47 females and 43 males) exercised using Bruce protocol. SBP and HR were measured pre- and post-exercise, and during recovery. SBPresponse (peak minus pre-exercise SBP), %SBPresponse [(peak minus pre-exercise SBP)÷pre-exercise SBP]x100, SBP3 (SBP 3 minutes into recovery), SBP4 (SBP 4 minutes into recovery), SBP3:peak (SBP3÷peak SBP), %SBPd3 [(peak SBP minus SBP 3 minutes into recovery)x peak SBP]x100, %SBPd4 [(peak SBP minus SBP 4 minutes into recovery)x peak SBP]X100, HRresponse (Peak HR minus pre-exercise HR), %HRresponse [(peak HR minus pre-exercise HR)÷pre-exercise HR]x 100, HR3 (HR 3 minutes into recovery), HR4 (HR 4 minutes into recovery), %HRd3 [(peak HR minus HR 3 minutes into recovery)÷peak HR]x100, %HRd4 [(peak HR minus HR 4 minutes into recovery)÷peak HR]X100, and HR50-70 (HR between 50th and 70th seconds into recovery) were derived from SBP and HR measurements. SBPpeak, HRresponse and %HRresponse were higher in males than in females whereas, SBPresponse, %SBPresponse and HRpeak were not different. There were no significant differences in the post-exercise SBP and HR responses of males and females except for SBP3, SBP4, HR3 and HR4. After adjusting for exercise duration, body mass index (BMI), and resting SBP and HR, these variables became similar. Sex differences in some SBP and HR responses to exercise, become nonexistent after adjusting for BMI, exercise duration, and resting SBP and HR.

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