Age-dependence of hypertensive-normotensive differences in plasma norepinephrine.
We compared venous plasma norepinephrine (NE) concentrations in 191 resting, supine patients with essential hypertension and 129 normotensive controls. Among normotensives, plasma NE increased significantly with age, but among hypertensives, no age-related increase occurred, due to relatively high NE values among young hypertensives. When patients and controls less than 40 years old were considered, hypertensives showed significantly higher plasma NE than the controls (317 vs 245 pg/ml, t = 3.15, p less than 0.01); but above the age of 40 years, no significant hypertensive-normotensive difference was obtained. These results, predicted by recent literature reviews, help to resolve the persistent controversy about sympathetic neural activity in essential hypertension, since such activity appears to be abnormal mainly in young patients. The data are consistent with increased sympathetic nervous system activity in the early stages of essential hypertension.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association