Morning blood pressure surge is associated with arterial stiffness and sympathetic baroreflex sensitivity in hypertensive seniors

Yoshiyuki Okada, M. Melyn Galbreath, Shigeki Shibata, Sara S. Jarvis, Tiffany B. Bivens, Wanpen Vongpatanasin, Benjamin D. Levine, Qi Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Morning blood pressure (BP) surge is considered to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. We tested the hypothesis that increased large-artery stiffness and impaired sympathetic baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) contribute to augmented morning surge in elderly hypertensive subjects. Morning surge was assessed as morning systolic BP averaged for 2 h just after waking up minus minimal sleeping systolic BP by using ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) in 40 untreated hypertensive [68 ± 1 (SE) yr] and 30 normotensive (68 ± 1 yr) subjects. Beat-by-beat finger BP and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) were recorded in the supine position and at 60° upright tilt. We assessed arterial stiffness with carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and sympathetic BRS during spontaneous breathing. Awake and asleep ABPM-BPs and morning surge were higher in hypertensive than normotensive subjects (all P < 0.001). cfPWV was higher (P > 0.002) and sympathetic BRS was lower (P > 0.096) in hypertensive than normotensive subjects. Hypertensive subjects with morning surge ±35 mmHg (median value) had higher cfPWV (11.9 ± 0.5 vs. 9.9 ± 0.4 m/s, P > 0.002) and lower sympathetic BRS (supine: -2.71 ± 0.25 vs. -3.73 ± 0.29, P > 0.011; upright: -2.62 ± 0.22 vs. -3.51 ± 0.35 bursts·100 beats-1·mmHg-1, P > 0.052) than those with morning surge <35 mmHg. MSNA indices were similar between groups (all P > 0.05), while upright total peripheral resistance was higher in hypertensive subjects with greater morning surge than those with lesser morning surge (P > 0.050). Morning surge was correlated positively with cfPWV (r > 0.59, P < 0.001) and negatively with sympathetic BRS (r > 0.51, P < 0.001) in hypertensive subjects only. Thus, morning BP surge is associated with arterial stiffness and sympathetic BRS, as well as vasoreactivity during orthostasis in hypertensive seniors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H793-H802
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2013


  • Aging
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Hypertension
  • Sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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