Prehypertension is a comorbid state with autonomic and metabolic dysfunction
We aimed to elucidate the role of autonomic dysfunction in the context of complex metabolic and cardiovascular changes in subjects with prehypertension. We identified 556 asymptomatic subjects without hypertension who underwent comprehensive cardiovascular exams. We obtained heart rate recovery (HRR) after peak exercise to quantitatively measure autonomic dysfunction. Of the 556 participants, 279 individuals had prehypertension and the remaining 277 had optimal BP. HRR was significantly lower in the prehypertension group (36.0 ± 14.5 bpm) than in the optimal BP group (39.3 ± 14.7 bpm, P = .009). The prehypertension group more frequently demonstrated features of metabolic disturbances and subclinical target organ damage. Among the various baseline cardiovascular and metabolic factors assessed, resting systolic BP and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level were independent determinants of HRR (both P < .05). Autonomic dysfunction coexists with prehypertension and is closely linked to changes in systolic BP and lipid metabolism.