Hypertension (HTN), which affects more than 65 million Americans, is associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Regular physical activity (PA) has been shown to reduce blood pressure and is associated with higher levels of HRQOL.
Using self-reports from 60,321 hypertensive adults age 18 y or older who participated in the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, we examined the independent relationship between engaging in recommended levels of moderate or vigorous PA and four measures of HRQOL developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For all age and racial/ethnic groups and both sexes, the proportion of hypertensive adults with 14 or more unhealthy days (physical or mental) in the past month was significantly lower among those who attained recommended levels of PA than among physically inactive adults.
Participation in regular PA is one of several lifestyle strategies available to control and prevent HTN. These results suggest that PA is associated with higher levels of HRQOL among adults with HTN and highlight the importance of health programs that promote participation in regular PA.
David W. and David R. Brown, Moriarty, Balluz, and Giles are with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341. Heath is with the Dept of Health and Human Performance, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 37403.