1998 Volume 35 Issue 11 Pages 845-850
We evaluated the circadian variation and exercise stress response patterns of blood pressure (BP) in elderly patients with essential hypertension. Ambulatory BP monitoring for 48 hours every 30 minutes, and treadmill exercise test using a Bruce protocol at PM 3 to 5 were performed in 49 untreated patients with hypertension. Mean daytime (awake), and night-time (sleeping) systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) values were analyzed by reviewing the patients' diaries, and the nocturnal reduction rate (NRR) of SBP and DBP were calculated according to the following formula. NRR (%)=[(daytime mean-nighttime mean)/daytime mean]×100. The patients were divided into two groups according to the presence (dipper, n=25) or absence (non-dipper, n=24) of a reduction in both SBP and DBP during the night by an average of more than 10% of the daytime BP. Mean values of SBP and DBP measured over 48 hours in the dipper and non-dipper groups were similar. Responses of SBP to dynamic exercise at 2 to 5 minutes in the non-dipper group were significantly smaller than those in the dipper group (p<0.05). Non-dipper patients with hypertension responded to dynamic exercise stress with smaller increases in SBP than did those in the dipper group. The differences in BP responses to exercise may affect the circadian blood pressure profile in dipper and non-dipper elderly patients with essential hypertension.