Autonomic nervous function in essential hypertension in the elderly: Evaluation by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability

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Abstract

Autonomic nervous function in elderly essential hypertensive patients was investigated by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability. Fifty-seven essential hypertensive patients participated in this study. They were divided into two groups: the middle-aged group (age ≤ 59 years, n = 30) and the elderly group (age ≥ 60 years, n = 27). All examinations were performed during hospitalization. Power spectral analysis of R-R interval was performed from Holter electrocardiogram every 10 min by the maximum entropy method to obtain the low frequency band (LFB; 0.04 to 0.15 Hz), which is an index of both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activity, and the high frequency band (HFB; 0.15 to 0.4 Hz), which reflects parasympathetic nervous activity. Twenty-four-hour blood pressure measurement was performed by the cuff-oscillometric method to evaluate the nocturnal decrease in blood pressure. Nondipper patients were defined as those whose nocturnal decrease in systolic blood pressure was < 10% of daytime blood pressure. Both LFB and HFB were significantly lower in elderly hypertensive patients than in middle-aged patients (P < .001 and P < .05, respectivey). Elderly nondipper patients had further reduced power spectral densities throughout the day. Both LFB and HFB showed a negative correlation with age. However, the age-related decline of power densities was more prominent in dipper patients and was not statistically significant in nondipper patients. These findings indicate that the nondipper phenomenon is superimposed on age-related attenuation of autonomic nervous function in essential hypertension. © 1996 by the American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd. Published by Elsevier Science, Inc.

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Kohara, K., Igase, M., Maguchi, M., Fukuoka, T., Kitami, Y., & Hiwada, K. (1996). Autonomic nervous function in essential hypertension in the elderly: Evaluation by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability. American Journal of Hypertension, 9(11), 1084–1089. https://doi.org/10.1016/0895-7061(96)00198-7

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