Recent findings suggest that measuring blood pressure while exercising is a better indicator for underlying heart dysfunction as compared to measuring blood pressure at rest. It can help in detecting the status of functioning of the heart and the blood vessels.

A study was conducted on 35 adults with mild untreated high blood pressure. Their blood pressure was measured at rest and after treadmill exercise. Experts assessed the status of blood vessel function in each patient and also measured the pulse pressure (the difference between the upper reading i.e. systolic blood pressure and the lower reading i.e. diastolic blood pressure). Normal pulse pressure is between 30-60 mm Hg.

According to researchers, a high pulse pressure is indicative of artery stiffness and a risk of heart disease. Hence all those who experience a high pulse pressure during exercise are more likely to have poor functioning of the blood vessels in terms of contraction and relaxation. This makes the heart work harder in order to maintain proper blood flow, further increasing the blood pressure which may even lead to heart failure.

Hence the above study indicates that doctors should give more emphasis to the blood pressure and pulse pressure measured during exercise as they are good indicators of functioning of the blood vessels and the heart and can therefore help the doctor in making a treatment/management plan for the patients.