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Linda Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Linda Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA Linda Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA

Distinguished Professor | University of Connecticut


Dr. Pescatello specializes in exercise prescription for cardiovascular health benefit.


Dr. Linda Pescatello is an exercise physiologist and Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. She holds joint appointments in the Departments of Allied Health Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Pescatello is a Senior Research Scientist in the Metabolic Services Division at the Hospital for Central Connecticut, New Britain, CT, and has consultant privileges in the Division of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT. Her areas of research focus are the genetic and clinical determinants of the response of health/fitness phenotypes to exercise, particularly blood pressure; the effects of cholesterol medications on blood pressure and exercise performance; and physical activity and contingency management as interventions to curb hazardous drinking among college students and enhance treatment adherence among minority populations with overweight and obesity and HIV positive substance abusers.

Other areas of interest are yoga as an intervention to improve physical and mental health, and the efficacy of exercise as an intervention to mitigate symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment among cancer survivors. She is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Citation Award recipient, has served as Chair of the ACSM Pronouncements Committee and as a member of the ACSM Board of Trustees and Administrative Council, and is a Past President of the New England Chapter of the ACSM.

Dr. Pescatello was also an Associate Editor of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription the Eighth Edition, and is the Senior Editor of the Ninth Edition published in 2013.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Hypertension Exercise Prescription Exercise Genomics Exercise Guidelines Exercise and Aging

Education (4)

John B. Pierce Foundation, Yale University School of Medicine: Postdoctoral Research

University of Connecticut: Ph.D., Exercise Science

University of Connecticut: M.A., Exercise Science

University of Connecticut: B.S., Biological Sciences

Affiliations (2)

  • Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Member
  • Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, Health Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Accomplishments (2)

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, 2013 (professional)

University of Connecticut

Citation Award (professional)

American College of Sports Medicine, 2011


Media Appearances (3)

In Just 15 Minutes, Your Future Will Seem Brighter

Emax Health  online


"Senior researcher Professor Linda Pescatello and team tracked the activity of 419 generally healthy middle-aged adults. The participants also filled out questionnaires on psychological well-being, depression level, pain, and ability to complete activities of daily living..."

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The Task of Being Happy is a ‘Walk in the Park’ for Some

The Economic Times  online


"For those keeping score, light physical activity is the equivalent of taking a leisurely walk around the mall with no noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, or sweating, says Distinguished Kinesiology Professor Linda Pescatello, senior researcher on the project..."

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Tai Chi Resembles Drugs, Aerobics in Blood Pressure Lowering

Medscape  online


"The traditional Chinese discipline offers possibilities for older people who can't or don't want to exercise strenuously, said Linda Pescatello, PhD, from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

'Tai chi is low intensity, it's social, and this modality would be very attractive to older adults,' she told Medscape Medical News. This means that 'they may be more adherent to it than to other forms of exercise...'"

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Articles (3)

The antihypertensive effects of aerobic versus handgrip exercise Journal of Hypertension


Aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure (BP)
on average 5–7mmHg among those with hypertension;
limited evidence suggests similar or even greater BP benefits may result from isometric handgrip (IHG) resistance exercise.

Deep-targeted exon sequencing reveals renal polymorphisms associate with postexercise hypotension among African Americans Physiological Reports


We found variants from the Angiotensinogen-Converting Enzyme (ACE),
Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor (AGTR1), Aldosterone Synthase (CYP11B2), and
Adducin (ADD1) genes exhibited intensity-dependent associations with the
ambulatory blood pressure (BP) response following acute exercise, or postexercise
hypotension (PEH). In a validation cohort, we sequenced exons from
these genes for their associations with PEH. Obese (30.9  3.6 kg m
2) adults
(n = 23; 61% African Americans [AF], 39% Caucasian) 42.0  9.8 years with
hypertension (139.8  10.4/84.6  6.2 mmHg) completed three random
experiments: bouts of vigorous and moderate intensity cycling and control.
Subjects wore an ambulatory BP monitor for 19 h. We performed deep-targeted
exon sequencing using the Illumina TruSeq Custom Amplicon kit. Variant
genotypes were coded as number of minor alleles (#MA) and selected for
further statistical analysis based upon Bonferonni or Benjamini–Yekutieli multiple
testing corrected p-values under time adjusted linear models for 19
hourly BP measurements per subject. After vigorous intensity over 19 h
among ACE, AGTR1, CYP11B2, and ADD1 variants passing multiple testing
thresholds, as the #MA increased, systolic (SBP) and/or diastolic BP decreased
12 mmHg (P = 4.5E-05) to 30 mmHg (P = 6.4E-04) among AF only. In contrast,
after moderate intensity over 19 h among ACE and CYP11B2 variants
passing multiple testing thresholds, as the #MA increased, SBP increased
21 mmHg (P = 8.0E-04) to 22 mmHg (P = 8.2E-04) among AF only. In this
replication study, ACE, AGTR1, CYP11B2, and ADD1 variants exhibited associations
with PEH after vigorous, but not moderate intensity exercise among
AF only. Renal variants should be explored further with a multi-level “omics”
approach for associations with PEH among a large, ethnically diverse sample
of adults with hypertension.ª

Small Sample Sizes Confound Understanding of Cardiometabolic Responses to Exercise Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews


Considerable variability exists in the cardiometabolic disease biomarker response to exercise. We propose that a major contributor to this heterogeneity is underpowered studies due to small sample sizes. To test our hypothesis, we conducted a systematic review to identify meta-analyses/reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCT) and RCT that examined the cardiometabolic disease biomarker response to aerobic and resistance exercise.

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