Heart Rate Recovery
Coming Back Full-Circle to the Baroreceptor Reflex
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In the current issue of Circulation Research, McCrory et al1 report on the association of heart rate recovery after simple orthostatic challenge—otherwise known as standing up—with all-cause mortality. The authors measured heart rate changes in the first 110 seconds after standing up in 4475 participants of an Irish population–based, cohort study. Immediately after standing, heart rate, as expected, increased but in most subjects started to fall toward resting levels within 10 seconds. The rate of decline between 10 and 20 seconds post orthostatic challenge—or heart rate recovery (HRR10–20)—was lower in older subjects and in subjects with a history of vascular disease. It was also an independent predictor of 4-year mortality: the lower the HRR10–20, the greater the mortality.
Article, see p 666
To put these findings in perspective, we go back 28 years, when Schwartz et al2 published a report on a series of experiments that linked baroreceptor function with cardiac response to acute stress. The investigators produced an anterior myocardial infarction (MI) in 301 dogs and …