Hypertension is a complex chronic condition characterized by elevated arterial blood pressure. Management of hypertension includes non-pharmacologic strategies, which may include techniques that effectively reduce autonomic sympathetic activity. Respiratory exercises improve autonomic control over cardiovascular system and attenuate muscle metaboreflex. Because of these effects, respiratory exercises may be useful to lower blood pressure in subjects with hypertension. This randomized, double-blind clinical trial will test the efficacy of inspiratory muscle training in reducing blood pressure in adults with essential hypertension. Subjects are randomly allocated to intervention or control groups. Intervention consists of inspiratory muscle training loaded with 40 % of maximum inspiratory pressure, readjusted weekly. Control sham intervention consists of unloaded exercises. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures are co-primary endpoint measures assessed with 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Secondary outcome measures include cardiovascular autonomic control, inspiratory muscle metaboreflex, cardiopulmonary capacity, and inspiratory muscle strength and endurance.
Previously published work suggests that inspiratory muscle training reduces blood pressure in persons with hypertension, but the effectiveness of this intervention is yet to be established. We propose an adequately sized randomized clinical trial to test this hypothesis rigorously. If an effect is found, this study will allow for the investigation of putative mechanisms to mediate this effect, including autonomic cardiovascular control and metaboreflex.