Spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) may predict the future development of essential hypertension.
Med Hypotheses. 2009; 72(2):183-5 (ISSN: 0306-9877)
Pal GK; Pal P; Nanda N; Amudharaj D; Karthik S
Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Education and Research, Puducherry 605 006, India. firstname.lastname@example.org
Presently, essential hypertension (EH) is among the most common morbid disorders of mankind. The fundamental pathophysiology of EH is sympathetic overactivity. It has been observed that the people having common risk factors for hypertension such as obesity, insulin resistance and stress generally have increased sympathetic activity. Therefore, it is presumed that patients suffering from EH develop some degree of increased sympathetic activity much before they clinically develop hypertension. Spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) has been demonstrated to accurately assess change in sympathovagal balance (autonomic activity) even when the alteration is in its minimal form. Therefore, in the present paper we hypothesize that spectral analysis of HRV could be utilized for early prediction of EH. We also suggest that the predictive knowledge of sympathovagal imbalance in the development of EH should be employed in elucidating the mechanisms for prevention of this dysfunction.