Effectiveness of a 12-week physical exercise programme on blood pressure in adults with true resistant hypertension and high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea: a study protocol for a pre-post test non randomised clinical trial


  • Suranga Dassanayake Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Gerard Wilkins Department of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Gisela Sole Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Margot Skinner Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, New Zealand




Resistant hypertension, Obstructive sleep apnoea, Exercise, Study protocol, Non-randomised trial


Background: Resistant hypertension, a special phenotype of hypertension, is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Exercise and physical activity are recommended as non-pharmacological interventions to manage blood pressure in hypertension. Little is known about the effectiveness of exercise in resistant hypertension. A bidirectional relationship has been identified between resistant hypertension and obstructive sleep apnoea but the literature pertaining to the benefit of exercise for populations with both conditions, is minimal. This study aims to identify the effectiveness of exercise in reducing blood pressure in a cohort of adults with resistant hypertension and high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Methods: Dunedin based adults with resistant hypertension and high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea will be recruited from the community and health centres to participate in the study. Consenting volunteers (no. of fourteen) will participate in a 12-week exercise programme including aerobic and strength training. The primary outcome measure will be 24h ambulatory blood pressure while the secondary outcomes will be anthropometrics, activity parameters, sleep parameters, cardiac structure and function, and quality of life. The measurements at the end of the 12-week exercise programme will be compared with baseline to determine the effectiveness of exercise in reducing blood pressure in the cohort with resistant hypertension and risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Conclusions: Exercise and physical activity are recommended to manage hypertension. Therefore, it is anticipated that the exercise programme will have a positive effect on the blood pressure of the participants. The findings have potential to change the direction of research in the area by filling the knowledge gaps.

Trial Registration: The Ministry of Health, New Zealand (Ethics Ref: 18/CEN/257), Trial registry: ACTRN12618001881224p).


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