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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-67

The potential role of short-term heart rate variability tests in identifying risk of hypertension in normotensive offspring of hypertensive parents

1 Department of Physiology, Padmashree Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Physiology, Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan, India

Correspondence Address:
Arunima Chaudhuri
Burdwan Medical College and Hospital
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.149543

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Background: Hypertension is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular death and is primarily silent as there is hardly any symptom before target organ damage. Heredity and autonomic nervous system play pivotal roles in pathogenesis of essential hypertension. Aims: To detect early cardiovascular autonomic changes by heart rate variability (HRV) before overt hypertension, among the offspring having family history of essential hypertension. Materials and Methods: 34 normotensive offspring aged 19-24 years with parental history of essential hypertension were included as study group and the control group included 32 age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) matched normotensive offspring having normotensive parents. Resting pulse, blood pressure, and short-term supine HRV was recorded initially followed by standing HRV. Results: A statistically significant increase in resting diastolic blood pressure in study group indicated increased sympathetic tone. Postural stress in the study group revealed a greater increase (P < 0.0001) in low frequency (LF) spectrum and simultaneous greater decrease (P < 0.0001) in high frequency (HF) band as compared to control group (P < 0.05). These findings indicate greater dysfunction in both autonomic branches associated with alterations in baroreflex function in the study group. Conclusions: Current study provides an evidence of early impairments in autonomic cardiovascular regulation in young adults having hereditary history of hypertension. Early lifestyle modification with sports activity may help in improving autonomic functions and thus decrease morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases.

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