Be sure to clearly answer the question with adequate justification of your answer. Be specific in your responses (i.e. don’t simply say something changed, describe how it changed – increased/decreased).
Please ensure that you CLEARLY indicate which part of your answer is for which question.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major health concern. Approximately 1 in 3 adults have hypertension and many of these people don’t respond to currently available medications. Furthermore, once a person begins taking medication to treat their hypertension, they are often on this for the rest of their life. Therefore, there is great interest in alternative therapies for people with hypertension.
Exercise is one such therapy that may be effective in reducing blood pressure. The study by Pescatello et al investigated the effects of exercise on blood pressure. Read this article and answer the questions below.
- What was the authors rationale for performing this study (including the stated aim/hypothesis)? Why did they propose to study the effects of exercise? (5 marks)
Two graphs from the study are presented below. Refer to these when answering the questions below.
- Describe how systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) changed in the hypertensive group (Figure 1) during the course of the experiment. Include details about any significant changes (3 marks)
- Describe how SBP, DBP and MAP changed in the normotensive group (Figure 2) during the course of the experiment. Include details about any significant changes (3 marks)
- What is the overall conclusion that can be made about the effect of exercise on blood pressure? Consider which group that it was most effective in and the duration of the effect. (2 marks).
Several years after this study was published, another research group performed a similar study examining the effects of exercise on blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. In this study, blood pressure was measured prior to exercise and again 24 hours post-exercise. The graph summarising this finding is shown below.
- Based only on the graph above (i.e. Figure 3), what conclusion can be made about the effects of exercise on blood pressure in hypertensive individuals? Provide a rationale for your statement. (2 marks)
- You have decided to undertake a PhD examining the effects of exercise on cardiovascular function. One of your first tasks is to summarise (i.e. write a literature review) of previous work. You come across these two research articles. How would you explain the results obtained? In your response you should summarise the main findings of each study and then propose reason for the differences (answer is not one study was wrong or that there were limitations with one study). (5 marks)