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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether beta-blocker treatment could enhance the effect of a mild physical training programme upon blood pressure. DESIGN AND METHODS: In 12 hypertensive subjects (mean age: 40.3 years) a prospective randomized Latin square-design trial was performed with three treatments: physical training and placebo tablets; atenolol 50 mg once a day and inactivity; and physical training and atenolol 50 mg once a day. RESULTS: Training significantly increased maximal ventilatory oxygen consumption (VO2MAX), and there was a decrease in ambulatory diastolic blood pressure (DBP) which did not reach statistical significance. Atenolol alone significantly reduced ambulatory systolic blood pressure (SBP) and DBP. Atenolol alone did not reduce VO2MAX. The combination of training and atenolol resulted in an increase in VO2MAX compared with atenolol alone, but no additional significant fall in blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS: Atenolol did not enhance the effect of physical training upon blood pressure and had little if any effect upon the training-induced increase in exercise tolerance.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hypertens

Publication Date





1279 - 1282


Adult, Atenolol, Blood Pressure, Combined Modality Therapy, Exercise, Exercise Therapy, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies