Purpose: To systematically summarize the available literature on the efficacy of exercise interventions on BP in healthy adults (age = 18 years) of African- or Asian-origin by means of meta-analytic techniques.
Methods: We conducted a search in three electronic databases and performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effect of exercise training on BP among African- and Asian-origin adults with optimal BP, high BP or HT as per the latest ACC/AHA guidelines, and published in a peer-reviewed journal up to May 2018. Random effect models were fitted to estimate the effect sizes. We reported data as weighted means and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: We identified 30 studies, involving 25 trials conducted in a population of Asian-origin (n=903; mean age: 44.1 years; 42% male) and 5 trials in a population of African-origin (n=510; mean age: 56.7 years; 80% male). The trials consisted of 17 aerobic, 8 resistance and 5 combined training groups. Overall, significant reductions (p<0.0001) were observed for systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP). Comparison among the ethnic groups showed a significantly larger net change in SBP among the African- population compared to the Asian-origin population (p=0.005), but not for DBP (p=0.95). Endurance training reduced SBP more in the African-origin population (-14.96 vs -5.89 mmHg; p<0.0001), whereas the reduction in DBP was larger in the Asian-origin population (-2.07 vs -5.79 mmHg; p<0.0001). In the subgroup of hypertensive participants (n=1088) significantly larger net change in SBP was observed in the African- compared to the Asian-origin population (p<0.01), but not for DBP (p=0.64).
Conclusions: We found significant different BP responses to aerobic training between the populations of African- and Asian-origin. However, the overall low number of studies performed among the populations of African-origin and the limited data with regard to resistance training in both ethnic groups calls for more research in the field of exercise therapy in non-Caucasian populations.