Background : It is well known that there is correlation between autonomic nervous system and blood pressure. Sympathetic hyperactivity is the major cause for the pathogenesis of hypertension. This study is undertaken to analyse the sympathovagal response to various physiological stimulus in both prehypertensive and hypertensive individuals. Aim: To compare the sympathovagal response in prehypertensive and hypertensive individuals. Materials & Methods : Around 40 subjects were selected and they were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 – prehypertensive, Group 2 - hypertensive 20 in each group. Orthostatic test and Cold pressor test were done to assess the sympathovagal balance. Results: There was a significant increase (p<0.5) in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both prehypertensive and hypertensive to cold pressor test. The response of blood pressure to orthostatic test showed no significant difference in both hypertensive and prehypertensive individuals. Conclusion: The rise of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was slightly higher in prehypertensive than hypertensive a individual which indicates sympathetic impairment in prehypertension and sympathetic failure in hypertension. Prehypertensives who showed sympathetic hyperactivity to cold pressor test may develop hypertension in later life.
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