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Acta Physiol Scand. 1991 Feb;141(2):157-65.

Augmented sympathetic nerve activity in response to stressors in young borderline hypertensive men.

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  • 1Second Department of Internal Medicine, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract

To determine whether there may be an abnormality in sympathetic nerve activity in response to physical and psychological stressors, we microneurologically recorded muscle sympathetic nerve activity in 11 normotensive and 9 borderline hypertensive, age-matched men. Supine blood pressure, plasma levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine and muscle sympathetic nerve activity were measured before and during a cold pressor test or a mental arithmetic test. The resting basal values of muscle sympathetic nerve activity, blood pressure and plasma epinephrine were significantly higher in the borderline hypertensives than in the normotensives (P less than 0.05). Plasma norepinephrine levels tended to be higher in the borderline hypertensives than in the normotensives but not to a significant extent (P less than 0.10). The cold test produced significantly exaggerated pressor and muscle sympathetic nerve responses (P less than 0.05) with a trend towards an increase in plasma norepinephrine (P less than 0.10) in the borderline hypertensives as compared with normotensives. The mental arithmetic test produced significantly enhanced pressor and plasma epinephrine responses in the borderline hypertensives as compared with the normotensives (P less than 0.05). During the mental arithmetic test the muscle sympathetic nerve activity decreased significantly in the normotensives (P less than 0.05) but not in the borderline hypertensives. These findings indicate that in people with borderline hypertension an abnormality exists in sympathetic nerve activity at rest and in response to stressors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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