Orthostatic change in systolic blood pressure associated with cold pressor reflection and heart rate variability in the elderly

Yuanli Dong, Yi Cui, Hua Zhang, Zhendong Liu, Juan Wang
Clinical and Experimental Hypertension: CHE 2019 October 7, : 1-11
Background : Impaired orthostatic blood pressure (BP) response is a frequent finding in the elderly. The goal of the study was to investigate the association of variability of supine-to-orthostatic BP with cold pressor reflection and heart rate variability in the elderly. Methods : From June 2010 to September 2013, 287 elderly aged ≥ 60 years were enrolled in Jinan area, China. The elderly were classified into lower ( n = 96), intermediate ( n = 95), and higher ( n = 96) tertile groups according to the tertile of the percentage change of supine-to-orthostatic systolic BP. Results : There were significant increasing trends in systolic BP response to the CPT at 0 and 60 sec; the plasma levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and angiotensin II; and decreasing trends in DNN, SDNN index, and SDANN from the lower to the higher tertile group, and differences between any two groups were significant ( P < .05). The percentage change of supine-to-orthostatic systolic BP was positively correlated with systolic BP response to CPT at 0 and 60 sec, VLF, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and angiotensin II ( P < .001) and negatively correlated with SDNN, SDNN index, SDANN, rMSSD, pNN50, LF, and ratio of LF/HF ( P < .001). The BP response to CPT, parameters of HRV, and the plasma levels of norepinephrine and angiotensin II were independently associated with the percentage change of supine-to-orthostatic systolic BP after adjustment for confounders. Conclusion : Aggressive variability of supine-to-orthostatic systolic BP might be significantly associated with the imbalance of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, especially high sensitivity sympathetic response in the elderly. Abbreviations : BP: blood pressure; BMI: body mass index; CPT: cold pressor test; HRV: heart rate variability; SDNN: standard deviation of all normal-to-normal R-R intervals; SDNN index: mean of the standard deviations of all 5-min normal-to-normal R-R intervals of the entire recording; SDANN: standard deviation of the averages of normal-to-normal R-R intervals during all 5-min periods of the entire recording; rMSSD: square root of the mean squared differences between successive normal R-R intervals; pNN50: number of adjacent normal R-R intervals differing by more than 50 ms; VLF: very low frequency; LF: low frequency; HF: high frequency; TCHO: total cholesterol; HDL-c: high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; LDL-c: low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; FPG: fasting plasma glucose; SD: standard deviation.

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