(HealthDay News) – Recreational physical activity, at moderate and high levels, is associated with a significantly decreased risk of hypertension, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 30 in Hypertension.

Pengcheng Huai, from Shandong University in Jinan, China, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis involving 13 prospective cohort studies to examine the effect of physical activity on hypertension risk. The studies included 136,846 individuals who were initially free of hypertension, 15,607 of whom developed hypertension during follow-up.

The researchers found that both high and moderate levels of recreational physical activity correlated with a significantly deceased risk of hypertension (relative risk high vs. low, 0.81; relative risk moderate vs. low, 0.89). High or moderate occupational physical activity was not associated with significantly decreased hypertension risk. There was no evidence of publication bias.

“The results of this meta-analysis suggested that there was an inverse dose-response association between levels of recreational physical activity and risk of hypertension, whereas there was no significant association between occupational physical activity and hypertension,” the authors write.

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