Unravelling the Complex Nexus: Adiposity, Blood Pressure, Cardiac Autonomic Function, and Arterial Stiffness in Young Adults - An Integrated Analysis

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Dr. Abhishek Sachdeva, Dr. Mukesh Kumar Tiwari, Dr. Mohd Shahid, Dr. Amit Varshney


Background: Cardiac autonomic function and arterial stiffness are two important factors related to cardiovascular health. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates involuntary bodily functions, including the cardiovascular system. It consists of two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). These two branches work in a balanced manner to maintain optimal cardiac function.

Aim: The present study was conducted to assess relationship between adiposity, blood pressure, cardiac autonomic function and arterial stiffness in young adults.

Materials & Methods: 65 healthy subjects of both genders were included. Weight (kgs), height (meters) and BMI (Kgs/m2) was calculated.  Based on BMI, group I comprised of normal weight young healthy subjects and group II overweight/obesity subjects. Measurement of Brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV), Carotid-femoral PWV (cfPWV), Heart-brachial PWV (hbPWV), Heart-ankle PWV (haPWV), Arterial stiffness index (ASI), Aortic augmentation index (AIx) and heart rate variablility (HRV) was done.

Results: The mean BMI (Kg/m2) in group I and II was 19.1 and 27.5, PP (mm Hg) was 50.4 and 51.3, MAP (mm Hg) was 84.6 and 90.2 and HR (bpm) was 71.2 and 76.4 respectively. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). The mean baPWV (cm/s) was 987.4 and 992.3, cfPWV (cm/s) was 60.5 and 585.2, AI@75 was 5.6 and 6.2, hbPWV (cm/s) was 291.4 and 301.2, haPWV (cm/s) was 423.6 and 418.5, bASI was 21.5 and 22.6, aASI was 32.4 and 35.1 and ABI was 1.8 and 1.2 in group I and II respectively. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). In group I and group II, mean LF (nu) was 84.6 and 71.6, HF (nu) was 17.3 and 15.3 and LF/HF ratio was 5.9 and 6.2 respectively. The difference was significant (P< 0.05).

Conclusion: Sympathetic over activity can enhance the vascular tone and elevate BP. Inturn, increased BP induces stiffening of arteries that may further augment BP.

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