Relationship of blood pressure to heart rate in isolated systolic hypertension

Jeffrey J. Goldberger, Jason T. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) have been noted to be less responsive to A-blockers than patients with essential hypertension (HTN). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and heart rate in ISH. Methods: A total of 619 patients underwent 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring. Patients were grouped as normal, HTN, or ISH. Clinical characteristics, mean BPs, and mean heart rate were compared between the groups. Results: Two hundred seventy-one patients had normal BP, 98 had HTN, and 90 had ISH. Antihypertensives were used in 37% with normal BP, 51% with HTN, and 58% with ISH. The pulse pressure was highest for ISH (67 [10] mmHg), followed by HTN (59 [12] mmHg) and normal BP (49 [7] mm Hg; P G 0.0001). Heart rate in ISH was 71 [10] beats per minute; slower than that for normal BP (73 [11] beats per minute; P = 0.0464) and HTN (78 [12] beats per minute; P G 0.0001). Therewas a positive relationship between diastolic BP and heart rate. In ISH, there was a negative relationship between systolic BP and heart rate (slope = j0.18; r = 0.24; P = 0.0209) and a positive relationship between diastolic BP and heart rate (slope = 0.19; r = 0.33; P = 0.0015). Conclusions: The noted relationship of heart rate to systolic BP and pulse pressure may in part explain the lower efficacy of A-blockers in patients with ISH. The rate-lowering effects of these medications may result in an increase in systolic and pulse pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1228-1232
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bradycardia
  • Hemodynamics
  • Systolic hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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