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Hypertension. 1996 Nov;28(5):863-71.

Diurnal variations in cardiovascular function and glucose regulation in normotensive humans.

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Department of Psychiatry, Erasme Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.


To define the physiological relationships between cardiovascular function, glucose regulation, and insulin secretion, we submitted nine young normotensive subjects to ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and blood sampling at 20-minute intervals for 24 hours to measure glucose, insulin, C peptide, cortisol, and growth hormone. Subjects ingested three identical carbohydrate-rich meals in the morning (8:30 AM), early afternoon (2 PM), and evening (8 PM). On the following day, they underwent an intravenous glucose tolerance test for quantification of insulin sensitivity. Significant postmeal increases in systolic pressure averaging 18 +/- 10 mm Hg in the morning, 18 +/- 8 mm Hg in the early afternoon, and 26 +/- 19 mm Hg in the evening were observed. Postprandial variations in diastolic pressure and heart rate were significant only for the morning meal. The magnitude of the postprandial increases in systolic pressure was correlated with the amount of insulin secreted in the morning but not later in the day. Pulses of growth hormone consistently occurred 3 to 4 hours after the morning and midday meals, as well as after the onset of sleep. Our findings indicate that under normal conditions, there is a quantitative relationship between postprandial insulin secretion and blood pressure.

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