Prescribing Physical Activity For the Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension in Patients with Aortic Coarctation – A Review

Roselien Buys

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.
Received: 02.06.2013 Accepted: 29.07.2013
Citation: EMJ Cardiol. 2013;1:92-95.


Patients who have been treated for aortic coarctation (CoA) have increased late cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, which is partly due to the development of arterial hypertension occurring in up to 70% of patients. Primary prevention measures are important in order to delay or prevent the onset of hypertension as much as possible. So far, hypertension management in this population has mainly focused on the early detection of hypertension and the antihypertensive drug treatment. Even though a physically active lifestyle is recognised as a cornerstone in the prevention, treatment, and management of hypertension, exercise prescription in this context for patients with CoA is not common practice. Studies on the safety and efficacy of sports and exercise training in patients with CoA, both before and after repair, are lacking. However, decreasing blood pressure can be obtained through exercise training, in both healthy subjects and patients with hypertension. Moreover, patients with CoA are not restricted from all physical activities. Therefore, it seems that endurance exercise, supplemented by resistance exercise without isometric exercises on most days of the week, should be prescribed, but only after thorough and regularly repeated medical check-ups, including cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

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