Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: “Connecting the Dots” in Epidemiology and Pathophysiology

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There is robust evidence from epidemiological and clinical studies showing that elevated heart rate (HR) constitutes a powerful predictor of morbidity and mortality in patients with hypertension, underlining the significance of HR measurement in them. Autonomous nervous system dysfunction and atherosclerosis are important features in the pathogenesis of the untoward events. However, the relationship between HR and blood pressure (BP) is complex and differs depending on the type of BP measurement which is considered. This differentiation implicates complex physiological mechanisms and is of clinical importance regarding the divergent effect of the different types of antihypertensive agents on these parameters. The aim of this review is to summarize the current evidence on the relationship between HR and BP based on epidemiological, clinical, and experimental studies.

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