PMID: 2895071Mar 1, 1988Paper

Factors influencing blood pressure and heart rate variability in hypertensive humans

John S FlorasP Sleight


We examined the influence of baroreceptor reflex sensitivity (the increase in pulse interval in response to a phenylephrine-induced increase in blood pressure), age, blood pressure, and beta-adrenergic receptor blockade on the variability of blood pressure and heart rate in essential hypertension. Fifty-six subjects were studied before treatment; intra-arterial blood pressure was recorded outside the hospital for 24 hours. Variability was defined (from all beats occurring while subjects were awake) as the standard deviation about the average waking value for mean arterial pressure (MAP) or pulse interval. The correlation (r) between baroreceptor reflex sensitivity and blood pressure variability was -0.47 (p less than 0.0002). Baroreceptor reflex sensitivity was the only independent determinant of blood pressure variability on multiple regression analysis. Thirty subjects were restudied after 5 months of beta-adrenergic receptor blockade. Ambulatory blood pressure was lower during treatment, whereas pulse interval, its variability, and baroreceptor reflex sensitivity were higher. Blood pressure variability was unchanged. The variability of MAP was inversely correlated with baroreceptor reflex sensitivity before (r = -0.42, p les...Continue Reading


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