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Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) by the spontaneous sequence technique has been widely used as a cardiac autonomic index for a variety of pathological conditions. However, little information is available on determinants of the variability of spontaneous BRS and on age-related reference values of this measurement in a healthy population. We evaluated BRS as the slope of spontaneous changes in systolic blood pressure (BP) and pulse interval from 10 minutes BP (Finapres) and ECG recordings in 1134 healthy volunteers 18 to 60 years of age. Measurement of BRS could be obtained in 90% of subjects. Those with unmeasurable spontaneous BRS had a slightly lower heart rate but were otherwise not different from the rest of the population. BRS was inversely related to age (lnBRS, 3.24-0.03xage; r(2)=0.23; P:<0.0001) in both genders. In addition, univariate analysis revealed a significant inverse correlation between BRS and heart rate, body mass index, and BP. Sedentary lifestyle and regular alcohol consumption were also associated with lower BRS. However, only age, heart rate, systolic and diastolic BP, body mass index, smoking, and gender were independent predictors of BRS in a multivariate model, accounting for 47% of the variance of BRS. The present study provides reference values for spontaneous BRS in a healthy white population. Only approximately half of the variability of BRS could be explained by anthropometric variables and common risk factors, which suggests that a significant proportion of interindividual differences may reflect genetic heterogeneity.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Hypertension

Publication Date

03/2001

Volume

37

Pages

911 - 916

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Baroreflex, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Electrocardiography, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Pulse, Reference Values, Smoking