Age-related changes of baroreflex function, plasma norepinephrine, and blood pressure.
Interrelationships between age, baroreflex sensitivity, plasma norepinephrine levels, and systolic blood pressure were assessed in a group of 54 normal subjects ranging in age from 14 to 77 years. Baroreflex sensitivity was measured by the change in R-R intervals per unit change in systolic blood pressure during phase 4 of the Valsalva maneuver. All correlations among these four variables were statistically significant (p less than 0.05 or 0.01). To investigate possible causal relationships between age-related changes of baroreflex sensitivity, plasma norepinephrine levels, and blood pressure, partial correlative analysis was then performed. After the effect of age was eliminated, plasma norepinephrine levels were found to be related positively to blood pressure (r = 0.29, p less than 0.05) and negatively to baroreflex sensitivity (r = -0.34, p less than 0.05). The increase in plasma norepinephrine levels could be causally related to the elevation of blood pressure, as plasma norepinephrine levels could provide an index of sympathetic activity. Furthermore, baroreflex sensitivity was found to be negatively related to age (r = -0.44, p less than 0.01) independent of plasma norepinephrine levels, whereas plasma norepinephrine levels were no longer related to age (r = 0.10) after adjusting for the effect of baroreflex sensitivity. This finding suggests that an increase in plasma norepinephrine levels with age could be mediated by the age-related change of baroreflex sensitivity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association