In healthy individuals, systolic blood pressure (BP) increases in a stepwise manner with increasing exercise intensity. The increased systolic BP during exercise is largely due to increased cardiac output, which is generated to meet the increased demand for oxygenated blood in active muscular beds. However, some individuals present with abnormally exaggerated rise in systolic BP during exercise. This phenomenon is known as a hypertensive response to exercise (HRE).

The presence of HRE which is a precursor to clinical hypertension, and the associated changes to the cardiovascular system observed in persons with HRE (atrial remodelling, left ventricular morphology) provide the rationale that HRE may be associated with the development of atrial fibrillation.

The purpose of this study is to determine the associated between a hypertensive response to exercise and the development of atrial arrhythmia, and long-term atrial fibrillation development.

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