rate-pressure product

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An indicator of the oxygen requirements of the heart. Rate-pressure product is calculated as the product of heart rate and systolic blood pressure (the maximum pressure exerted by the blood on vessel walls).

The heart is a living pump which needs a good supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to work. If these supplies are inadequate, heart failure results. During aerobic exercise, heart rate and systolic blood pressure are the two main factors determining the workload on the heart. If these factors increase, the heart has to work harder, and will require more oxygen and nutrients to keep going. The response of the heart rate and blood pressure to a fixed level of exercise tends to decrease with regular, vigorous aerobic exercise. Therefore, a well-trained person is better able to satisfy the demands of the heart for oxygen and nutrients during exercise than an untrained person. For the same reasons, training is also thought to offer some protection if there is any disruption of the blood supply to the heart muscle.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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