Prehypertension clinical trials at University of California Health
1 in progress, 0 open to eligible people
Sorry, accepting new patients by invitation only
Over 30% of American adults have hypertension (HTN) (high blood pressure), and the rate increases considerably with age; 64% of men and 78% of women over 65 have HTN. High blood pressure associated with HTN can force of the blood against artery walls with enough pressure that it can eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. HTN is one of the most significant causes of early death worldwide and one of the most preventable causes of death. Many studies reveal that lowering blood pressure (BP) reduces the incidence of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Non-drug related treatments are known to reduce BP which can have a great effect on public health. Research suggests that Tai Chi (TC) is effective in lowering BP in patients with HTN, but because of the low quality of existing studies there is no definite proof. Also, it is not known how TC reduces BP. One possibility is that TC practice, which is shown to reduce psychological distress such as anxiety and depression and reduce the body's responses to stress, can improve the balance of the autonomic nervous system (the part of your nervous system that controls beating of the heart and the widening or narrowing of blood vessels). This may lead to lower BP. The investigators plan to investigate the pathways among autonomic, blood vessel, immune and psychological factors in relation to BP changes in response to 12-weeks of TC compared with Healthy Aging Practice-centered Education (HAP-E). 250 older adults (60+ years old) with mild HTN will be enrolled, and the investigators will take several measurements of heart and nervous system functioning. The investigators hypothesize that performing TC for 12 weeks will result in autonomic "re-regulation" which will improve BP and blood vessel health (Aim 1) and sympathetic nervous system (part of the nervous system that serves to speed up heart rate, contract blood vessels, and raise blood pressure) regulation of the immune system (Aim 2). Lastly, the investigators hypothesize that psychological factors will be related to TC effects on autonomic regulation (Aim 3). Findings from the investigators study will hopefully shed light on the pathways by which TC reduces BP. Also, the particular effects of TC ("meditative movement") in an older, "hard-to-treat" hypertensive population will be better understood.