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Int J Psychophysiol. 1996 Feb-Mar;21(2-3):91-5.

Postprandial ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate effects in healthy elderly adults.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1759, USA.


The goal of the study was to investigate postprandial blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) changes among the elderly in the natural environment by means of ambulatory BP monitoring. A sample of 26 men and 27 women, 65-83 years of age, was studied 90 min before and during the 120 min following the initiation of the dinner meal on two separate days. Subjects all lived in their own homes, had no major disorders, and were not taking any medication. Sitting BP decreased significantly from 61-120 min after the initiation of eating (drop of 6.5/8.0 mmHg from pre-meal values). Heart rate showed an increase of 4 bpm at 31-90 min after beginning eating. Decreases in BP did not appear to be a function of the subject's state of arousal, time of meal, or level of activity. Cardiovascular changes in response to eating in a natural setting were comparable to those we reported in a previous study under controlled conditions. It is important to be aware of these changes when one is evaluating 24-h BP.

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