Heart rate and blood pressure: Any possible implications for management of hypertension

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Hypertension is a common clinical problem and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Elevated heart rate is associated with elevated blood pressure, increased risk for hypertension, and, among hypertensives, increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Despite these important relationships, heart rate is generally not a major consideration in choosing antihypertensive medications. In part, this is due to a lack of evidence supporting heart rate lowering as a therapeutic strategy in hypertension. Additionally, while there is a positive correlation between heart rate and peripheral blood pressure, there is an inverse relationship between heart rate and central blood pressure. The use of antihypertensive medications, specifically medications that affect heart rate, may not reliably reduce central blood pressure to a similar extent as observed peripherally.We review the relationship between heart rate and peripheral and central blood pressure, with a focus on the implications for chronotropic therapy in hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Antihypertensive agents
  • Augmentation index
  • Beta-blockers
  • CKD
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Central blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • PWV
  • Peripheral blood pressure
  • Pulse wave velocities
  • Stroke


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