Quantitative analysis of the 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate patterns in young men.
To characterize the normal nycterohemeral blood pressure and heart rate profiles and to delineate the relative roles of sleep and circadian rhythmicity, we performed 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring with simultaneous polygraphic sleep recording in 31 healthy young men investigated in a standardized physical and social environment. Electroencephalographic sleep recordings were performed during 4 consecutive nights. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured every 10 minutes for 24 hours starting in the morning preceding the fourth night of recording. Sleep quality was not significantly altered by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. A best-fit curve based on the periodogram method was used to quantify changes in blood pressure and heart rate over the 24-hour cycle. The typical blood pressure and heart rate patterns were bimodal with a morning acrophase (around 10:00 AM), a small afternoon nadir (around 3:00 PM), an evening acrophase (around 8:00 PM), and a profound nocturnal nadir (around 3:00 AM). The amplitude of the nycterohemeral variations was largest for heart rate, intermediate for diastolic blood pressure, and smallest for systolic blood pressure (respectively, 19.9%, 14.1%, and 10.9% of the 24-hour mean). Before awakening, a significant increase in blood pressure and heart rate was already present. Recumbency and sleep accounted for 65-75% of the nocturnal decline in blood pressure, but it explained only 50% of the nocturnal decline in heart rate. Thus, the combined effects of postural changes and the wake-sleep transition are the major factors responsible for the 24-hour rhythm in blood pressure. In contrast, the 24-hour rhythm of heart rate may reflect an endogenous circadian rhythm, amplified by the effect of sleep. We conclude that modulatory factors different from those controlling nycterohemeral changes in blood pressure influence the 24-hour variation in heart rate.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association