2.2 Effects of Whole Body Vibration exercise training on aortic wave reflection and muscle strength in postmenopausal women with prehypertension and hypertension

Journal: Journal of Human Hypertension, 2014; 28: 118-122

Study Context: We Know that high pressure wave reflections predispose women to myocardial ischemia due to increased muscle demand. In addition to arterial ageing, there is greater loss of muscle strength and muscle mass in older adults. Leg muscle strength loss has been associated with increased mortality in older men. Because the age-related increase in wave reflection, and subsequent risk for heart failure, is greater in women that in men, strategies that counteract or improve the negative consequences of wave reflection and muscle weakness in older women are needed.

Thirty women volunteered for this randomized parallel design study. Participants were postmenopausal (> 1 year without menstruation), overweight (body mass index > 25 kg/m2), prehypertensive (SBP > 120 mm Hg) and sedentary (< 60 min. of regular exercise training). Subjects were randomly assigned to a control or 6 weeks of WBV exercise training. THE WBV exercise group performed exercise 3 times per week at a platform frequency of 25-35 Hz, low to high amplitude, progressive duration (30-45 sec.) and progressive sets (1-2). The training protocol was similar to those previously used in the same population of women. The main findings were that 6 weeks of WBV training decreased wave reflection magnitude and aortic blood pressure. In addition, leg muscle strength improved significantly and this muscle strength increase was correlated with the decrease in augmented pressure.

Conclusion: Whole body vibration exercise may decrease cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women by improving wave reflection and muscle strength.

Comments: The researchers acknowledge that there was not an exercise without WBV group. They justified the study design as one used in a study by Figueroa et. al