Current Hypertension Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 478–484 | Cite as

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Any Possible Implications for Management of Hypertension?

  • Scott Reule
  • Paul E. Drawz
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Hypertension is a common clinical problem and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Elevated heart rate is associated with elevated blood pressure, increased risk for hypertension, and, among hypertensives, increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Despite these important relationships, heart rate is generally not a major consideration in choosing antihypertensive medications. In part, this is due to a lack of evidence supporting heart rate lowering as a therapeutic strategy in hypertension. Additionally, while there is a positive correlation between heart rate and peripheral blood pressure, there is an inverse relationship between heart rate and central blood pressure. The use of antihypertensive medications, specifically medications that affect heart rate, may not reliably reduce central blood pressure to a similar extent as observed peripherally. We review the relationship between heart rate and peripheral and central blood pressure, with a focus on the implications for chronotropic therapy in hypertension.


Heart rate Pulse wave velocities PWV Peripheral blood pressure Central blood pressure Augmentation index Hypertension Cardiovascular disease Stroke Chronic kidney disease CKD Antihypertensive agents Beta-blockers 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Renal Diseases and HypertensionUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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