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The Effects of Stretching Training on Arterial Function and Autonomic Control

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01741766
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 5, 2012
Last Update Posted : December 5, 2012
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Arturo Figueroa, Florida State University

Brief Summary:

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Hypertension and abdominal obesity are associated with dysfunction of the main mechanisms of cardiovascular regulation, the autonomic nervous system and the vascular endothelium. Increased sympathetic activity and endothelial dysfunction are associated with increased arterial stiffness, which is an independent risk factor for the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. The recommended intervention for controlling BP in pre- and stage 1- hypertensive individuals is lifestyle modifications such as exercise, and not drug therapy.Although aerobic and resistance exercise has been shown to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system, special populations such as the elderly and obese may have physical and/or musculoskeletal limitations which may limit their participation in these exercise modalities.

Stretching is a form of exercise that is widely recommended for injury prevention. Among the benefits of stretching are an increased flexibility, enhanced muscular coordination, stress relief, improved range of motion and an improved posture. Previous studies have shown stretching training to increase arterial compliance and acutely increase sympathetic nerve activity. In addition, low flexibility levels have been found to be associated with arterial stiffness. Given that stretching of skeletal muscle causes an increase in sympathetic nerve activity; repetitive stimulation of sympathetic activity induced by habitual stretching, might chronically reduce resting sympathetic activity. The reduction in sympathetic activity might result in a decrease of arterial stiffness and blood pressure.

The investigators hypothesis is that 8 weeks of stretching training would reduce arterial stiffness, blood pressure and sympathetic activity in obese women. The investigators also hypothesize that the improved arterial function with stretching would be associated with increases in flexibility levels.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Pre-hypertension Hypertension Other: Stretching Training Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of 8 weeks of stretching training on blood pressure,arterial stiffness, wave reflection, endothelial function and cardiovascular autonomic control. The specific aim of the study is:

- To evaluate the effects of 8 weeks of ST on arterial function and aortic hemodynamics by assessing arterial stiffness (aortic, systemic, and leg), aortic blood pressure and wave reflection, and autonomic function (heart rate variability, vascular sympathetic activity [low-frequency power of systolic BP variability], and baroreflex sensitivity)

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: The Effects of 8 Weeks of Stretching Training on Arterial Stiffness, Wave Reflection, Endothelial Function and Cardiac Autonomic Control.
Study Start Date : May 2011
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Stretching Training
Whole body stretching exercises 3 times per wk for 8 weeks
Other: Stretching Training
The stretching training intervention consists of 38 whole-body stretching exercises, 3 times per week for 8 wk. Each stretch will be held in place for 30 seconds, with a 15 seconds of rest in between stretches.

No Intervention: Control
This arm involves not making any change to the subject's lifestyle at the moment of the start of the intervention and for 8 wk.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Blood pressure [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ]
    Non-invasive measures of brachial and aortic blood pressure

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Arterial Stiffness [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ]
    Using pulse wave velocity of the aorta, systemic, and legs

Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Autonomic Function [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ]
    Heart rate variability, vascular sympathetic activity [low-frequency power of systolic BP variability], and spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity will be assessed from electrocardiogram and beat-by-beat digital blood pressure

  2. Pressure Wave Reflection [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ]
    Using the augmentation index from radial tonometry

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 50-65 years old
  • Blood pressure between 121/81 and 159/99 mmHg
  • Body mass index of 25-39.9
  • Sedentary or low active (less than 2 hr per wk)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Younger than 50 or older than 65 years of age
  • Body mass index lower than 25, or 40 or higher
  • Physically active or competitively active
  • Smoker
  • Systolic blood pressure higher than 160 mmHg
  • Use of hormone replacement therapy of less than 1 yr
  • Use of calcium channel blocker or beta blockers
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Known cardiovascular disease

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01741766

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United States, Florida
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida, United States, 32306
Sponsors and Collaborators
Florida State University
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Study Director: Arturo Figueroa, M.D., Ph.D Florida State University
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Responsible Party: Arturo Figueroa, Associate Professor, Florida State University Identifier: NCT01741766    
Other Study ID Numbers: HSC2010.5615
First Posted: December 5, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 5, 2012
Last Verified: December 2012
Keywords provided by Arturo Figueroa, Florida State University:
arterial function
arterial stiffness
pulse wave velocity
autonomic function
endothelial function
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases