Effects of aging on blood pressure variability in resting conditions.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of aging on beat-to-beat blood pressure and pulse interval variability in resting conditions and to determine the effect of aging on the sympathetic and vagal influence on the cardiovascular system by power spectral analysis of blood pressure and pulse interval. We studied three groups of healthy, normotensive subjects: young (10 to 15 years, n = 16), adult (20 to 40 years, n = 16), and elderly (70 to 90 years, n = 25). Beat-to-beat blood pressure was measured by Finapres during 20 minutes supine and 10 minutes standing. Overall systolic and diastolic blood pressures and pulse interval variability were determined as SD and as coefficient of variation. Also, relative powers of the mid-frequency (0.08 to 0.12 Hz) and high-frequency bands (0.15 to 0.40 Hz) were determined by spectral analysis. In these subjects no differences in blood pressure variability (either as SD or coefficient of variation) were found between age groups, except for the coefficient of variation of standing diastolic blood pressure, which decreased with aging. Pulse interval variability decreased with aging. Power of the mid-frequency band of systolic and diastolic blood pressures was markedly decreased in the elderly, especially in the standing position. Power of the high-frequency band of pulse interval was also decreased in the elderly. Baroreflex sensitivity calculated by fast Fourier transformation spectral analysis was decreased in the elderly subjects compared with the younger groups. In conclusion, we found no change in the overall variability of blood pressure with aging. Mid-frequency spectral power of blood pressure and mid- and high-frequency spectral powers of pulse interval variability were decreased in the elderly. These results suggest that aging does not merely influence the magnitude of blood pressure and pulse interval variability but causes a complex rearrangement of the variability pattern by changes in neurocardiovascular regulation.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association