Hypertension Essay

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Hypertension, a complex multifactorial and polygenic disorder, is a major silent disease affecting young people because of their hereditary and modern lifestyles and it is a major modifiable cardiovascular risk factor. 1 A positive parental history represents a major risk factor for future hypertension in normotensive offspring.2 Several studies have been conducted in the offspring of hypertensive to find the role of genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension. Cultural, social, physical environments and high dietary intake of salt could further increase the tendency to become hypertensive.3 The autonomic nervous system plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of essential arterial hypertension. Many offspring of hypertensive parents show early changes in their autonomic functions.4 Autonomic abnormality in the form of increased sympathetic tone and early attenuated parasympathetic activity has been demonstrated in young normotensive with parental history of hypertension.5 Another risk factor, obesity is a rapidly growing threat to the healthy population and it is on rise in our society due to socioeconomic developments leading to sedentary life style and faulty dietary habits.6 Weight gain in adolescence and in young adults is one of the potential risk factors for the subsequent development of hypertension. A study on Indian obese young adults demonstrates an autonomic dysregulation in obese subjects.7 A short term Heart Rate Variability (HRV) indices offers a noninvasive, quantitative method of investigating autonomic effects on the heart.8
Although it is obvious that parental history has an overall impact on the hypertension risk profile of the offspring, not much work has been do...

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...rtensive and found that vagal withdrawal plays a critical role in development of sympathovagal imbalance in prehypertensive offspring of hypertensive parents. The intensity of sympathovagal imbalance was more in offspring of two parents hypertensive compared to single parent hypertensive. 16

As per a study conducted on sedentary and trained offspring of hypertensive parents, aerobic exercise training is associated with higher levels of cardiovagal outflow and baroreflex gain in subjects with parental hypertension. 17 Some researchers attempt to identify the early markers for the development of hypertension in individuals with hypertensive parents by assessing the autonomic nervous activity when subjected to mental stress and observed impaired parasympathetic activity at rest and sympathovagal imbalance during mental stress in subjects with hypertensive parents. 18

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