Wide-band spectral analysis of blood pressure and RR interval variability in borderline and mild hypertension

R Takalo, Ilkka Korhonen, H Sorsa, S Majahalme, M Tuomisto, Väinö Turjanmaa

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    The aim of this study was firstly to investigate whether indices of wide-band spectral analysis in borderline hypertensive (BHT) or mildly hypertensive (HT) subjects differ from those in normotensive (NT) subjects, and secondly to assess the predictive value of these indices for future hypertension. Electrocardiogram and intra-arterial 24 h ambulatory blood pressure (BP) were recorded in 32 NT, 29 BHT and 30 HT middle-aged men. From the recordings, a 16 h period was extracted for wide-band spectral analysis. A single spectrum of BP and RR interval (RRI) variability was computed for each period by the fast Fourier transform method. The slopes of the spectra were assessed on a log-log scale by linear fitting of the spectral values. Power spectral densities were calculated over regions of 0-0.003, 0.003-0.04, 0.04-0.15, 0.15-0.40 and 0-0.4 Hz. No between-group differences were found in the slopes of BP and RRI spectra. The between-group differences in spectral powers for BP variability were almost invariably significant. The spectral powers for RRI variability did not show between-group differences. Five years later, 22 NT, 22 BHT and 18 HT subjects were re-assessed using casual BP measurements. In a logistic regression model for the combined group of NT and BHT subjects who became HT (22 of 44) during the five-year period, none of the parameters of wide-band spectrum predicted the development of hypertension. In conclusion, parameters of wide-band spectral analysis may not be useful in predicting future hypertension in NT and BHT subjects. Because the BP level is a major factor influencing BP variability, the between-group differences in wide-band spectral powers in BP may be due to differences in BP level rather than differences in cardiovascular regulatory mechanisms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)490-496
    Number of pages7
    JournalClinical Physiology & Functional Imaging
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1999
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • blood pressure
    • heart rate
    • hypertension


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