Using the Post-exercise Muscle Ischemia Test to Predict Hypertension

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Florida Southern College
Hypertension increases risk cardiovascular disease and mortality and is defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 130mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 80mmHg. Early detection and prevention are essential. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that hypertension may be predicted by an exaggerated blood pressure (BP) response. Further, this abnormal BP response may be mediated by a heightened metaboreflex. The post-exercise muscle ischemia (PEMI) test can be used to assess BP reactivity due to actions of the metaboreflex. During the PEMI test, the subject performs two minutes of isometric hand grip exercise. Then, in the final seconds of exercise a BP cuff on the upper arm is inflated to suprastolic levels for three minutes. BP reactivity is calculated as the difference between the highest and lowest BP during the test and rest. If the individual has an increase in BP ≥ 22 mmHg they are considered a hyperreactor. Therefore, the PEMI test may be used by exercise and health professionals to identify hyperreactors, or those at risk for developing hypertension. Following this test, an intervention can then be initiated, such as exercise training, to improve BP reactivity and hypertensive risk.
Presented at Fiat Lux Spring 2021.
Hypertension, Systolic blood pressure, Cardiovascular system -- Diseases -- Prevention, Exercise