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CARDIOVASCULAR RESPONSE OF CHRONIC STROKE SURVIVORS TO AN AEROBIC EXERCISE TRAINING PROGRAM.

John, E B.1; Gajewski, B1; Gobert, D1; Bouckhout, V1; Billinger, S A.1; Cho, J K.1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 - p S195
D-24A FREE COMMUNICATION/SLIDE CVA AND ELDERLY

1Dept. of Physical Therapy, Kansas University Medical Center, KS

E-Mail: ejohn@kumc.edu. (Sponsor: Chukuka S. Enwemeka, FACSM)

Exercise training has been used as a non-pharmacological therapy in hypertension management except in chronic stroke survivors. This is due to the perception that exertional exercise will increase the severity of movement dysfunctions in stroke. Recent studies however show intensive aerobic exercise training (AET) as improving cardiovascular fitness in chronic stroke survivors without aggravating stroke specific sensori-motor deficits.

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PURPOSE

To assess the effects of AET on resting values of systolic blood pressure (RSBP), diastolic blood pressure (RDBP) and heart rate (RHR) in a group of moderately impaired chronic stroke survivors.

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METHODS

Twenty-four chronic stroke survivors, 13 males and 11 females, age range 30–87 years old (mean 61.73+13.33) who had experienced a stroke 6-months prior to the start of the study participated in the AET program. The subjects had sufficient mobility to utilize a recumbent stepper and were able to follow three step commands. The training protocol consisted of 8-weeks, thrice weekly intensive AET at 50–60% of maximal heart rate and 30 minutes per session on a recumbent stepper. There was a warm-up and cool-down period prior to and after each AET session. Data was analyzed using a 95% credible interval (CI) and the Bayesian Hierarchical Modeling (BHM). The BHM assumes the linear response over sessions come from a population curve which allows flexible pooling of all subjects resulting in shorter CI than classic procedures. Very broad prior information was incorporated (diffuse priors).

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RESULTS

There were significant reductions in RSBP [CI=(−10.04) ¡V (−0.33)] and RDBP [CI = (−9.31) ¡V (−3.05)]. No significant change was found for the RHR [CI = (−3.45)−(1.11)].

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CONCLUSION

An 8-week AET significantly reduced RSBP and RDBP in a group of moderately impaired chronic stroke survivors. AET should be further examined as a possible non-pharmacological therapy in post-stroke hypertension management in chronic stroke survivors. Supported by Kansas Research Institute Grant G1805260.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine