Relation of cardiovascular responses to mental stress and cardiac vagal activity in coronary artery disease.
Forty-six patients with documented coronary artery disease were studied to examine the relation of cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress and cardiac vagal activity. Cardiac vagal activity was measured by means of frequency-domain analysis of heart rate variability with 48-hour out-of-hospital Holter monitoring. The amplitude of the high-frequency component (0.16 to 0.40 Hz) of heart rate variability is considered to be an index of cardiac vagal activity. Cardiovascular reactivity was measured in the laboratory during a 3-minute public speaking task. Results revealed that (1) the amplitude of the high-frequency component was significantly higher during sleep (24.6 +/- 11.3 ms) than during waking (18.2 +/- 8.0 ms) (p = 0.002); (2) compared to subjects with low diastolic blood pressure reactivity, those who displayed high diastolic blood pressure reactivity exhibited a significantly lower amplitude of the high-frequency component (19.2 +/- 6.9 vs 23.4 +/- 9.6 ms, p = 0.03). These results indicate that decreased cardiac vagal activity may contribute to the exaggerated diastolic blood pressure reactivity to mental stress in patients with coronary artery disease.
Jiang, W; Hayano, J; Coleman, ER; Hanson, MW; Frid, DJ; O'Connor, C; Thurber, D; Waugh, RA; Blumenthal, JA
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