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Article

Altered Cardiovascular Reactivity to and Recovery from Cold Face Test-Induced Parasympathetic Stimulation in Essential Hypertension

1
Biological Work and Health Psychology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
2
Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
3
Department of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Basel, 4055 Basel, Switzerland
5
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Zurich, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christiane Waller, Peter Radermacher and Toshihiro Tsuruda
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(12), 2714; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122714
Received: 27 April 2021 / Revised: 11 June 2021 / Accepted: 14 June 2021 / Published: 19 June 2021
Essential hypertension is associated with increased sympathetic and diminished parasympathetic activity as well as impaired reactivity to sympathetic stimulation. However, reactivity and recovery from parasympathetic stimulation in hypertension are unknown. We investigated reactivity and recovery to primarily parasympathetic stimulation by Cold Face Test (CFT) in essential hypertension. Moreover, we tested whether chronic stress modulates CFT-reactivity dependent on hypertension status. The CFT was conducted by applying a cold face-mask for 2 min in 24 unmedicated, otherwise healthy hypertensive men and in 24 normotensive controls. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were measured repeatedly. Chronic stress was assessed with the Trier-Inventory-for-Chronic-Stress-Screening-Scale. Hypertensives did not exhibit diastolic BP decreases after CFT-cessation (p = 0.59) as did normotensives (p = 0.002) and failed to show HR decreases in immediate response to CFT (p = 0.62) when compared to normotensives (p < 0.001). Systolic BP reactivity and recovery patterns did not differ between hypertensives and normotensives (p = 0.44). Chronic stress moderated HR (p = 0.045) but not BP CFT-reactivity (p′s > 0.64) with chronically stressed normotensives showing similar HR reactivity as hypertensives. Our findings indicate impaired diastolic BP and HR reactivity to and recovery from CFT in hypertensives and a moderating effect of chronic stress on HR reactivity potentially reflecting reduced relaxation ability of the cardiovascular system. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypertension; parasympathetic stimulation; Cold Face Test (CFT); cardiovascular reactivity; chronic stress hypertension; parasympathetic stimulation; Cold Face Test (CFT); cardiovascular reactivity; chronic stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Walther, L.-M.; von Känel, R.; Heimgartner, N.; Zuccarella-Hackl, C.; Ehlert, U.; Wirtz, P.H. Altered Cardiovascular Reactivity to and Recovery from Cold Face Test-Induced Parasympathetic Stimulation in Essential Hypertension. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 2714. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122714

AMA Style

Walther L-M, von Känel R, Heimgartner N, Zuccarella-Hackl C, Ehlert U, Wirtz PH. Altered Cardiovascular Reactivity to and Recovery from Cold Face Test-Induced Parasympathetic Stimulation in Essential Hypertension. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(12):2714. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122714

Chicago/Turabian Style

Walther, Lisa-Marie, Roland von Känel, Nadja Heimgartner, Claudia Zuccarella-Hackl, Ulrike Ehlert, and Petra H. Wirtz 2021. "Altered Cardiovascular Reactivity to and Recovery from Cold Face Test-Induced Parasympathetic Stimulation in Essential Hypertension" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 12: 2714. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122714

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