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Effects of isometric handgrip training among people medicated for hypertension: a multilevel analysis

Millar, Philip J.; Bray, Steve R.; McGowan, Cheri L.; MacDonald, Maureen J.; McCartney, Neil

doi: 10.1097/MBP.0b013e3282cb05db
Analytical Methods and Statistical Analyses

Objective To examine the longitudinal effects of isometric handgrip (IHG) exercise training on blood pressure using hierarchical linear modeling.

Methods Data from 43 participants who were medicated for hypertension at the time of training were amalgamated from three previous investigations. In each study, IHG training was completed 3 days/week for 8 weeks at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction and resting blood pressure was assessed at twice-weekly intervals throughout.

Results Hierarchical linear modeling analysis revealed a linear pattern of blood pressure decline over time with estimated reductions of 5.7 and 3 mmHg reductions in systolic and diastolic pressure, respectively. Participants with higher initial systolic pressure showed greater rates of blood pressure decline (r=−0.67), inferring that individuals with higher blood pressure stand to achieve greater benefits from this method of training.

Conclusions These results provide further evidence that IHG training lowers resting blood pressure among persons medicated for hypertension.

Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence to Mr Philip Millar, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1

Tel: +1 905 525 9140; fax: +1 905 525 7629;


Received 21 November 2006 Revised 7 May 2007 Accepted 10 May 2007

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.