Genetic influences on baroreflex sensitivity during rest and mental stress

Harriette Riese*, Fruhling V. Rijsdijk, Johan Ormel, Arie M. van Roon, Jan Neeleman, Judith G. M. Rosmalen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

13 Citaten (Scopus)
297 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) is a predictor of cardiovascular mortality and an indicator of sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic regulation. Although the BRS is influenced by genetic factors, the evidence is limited, and it is unknown whether contributions of genes and environment to individual variation in BRS differ during rest and mental stress conditions.

Design and methods: In 250 female twins, electrocardiogram and continuous finger blood pressure (BP) were assessed during two rest and two mental stress conditions. BRS was calculated as the mean modulus between inter-beat-interval and systolic BP. Genetic model fitting was used to investigate the relative contribution of genetic and environmental influences to individual differences in the BRS measures.

Results: Familial resemblance for all conditions was found which was clearly mainly due to genetic contributions. A trend was found for higher genetic influences in the mental stress conditions (42 and 45%) compared to rest conditions (14 and 22%), and higher shared environmental effects in rest conditions (14 and 16%) compared to mental stress conditions (0.5 and 1%). Although their magnitude differed, the same genetic and shared environmental factors affected individual differences in BRS in all four conditions.

Conclusion: Genetic influences explained up to 45% of the individual variation in BRS. This considerable proportion of genetic variance would make BRS an useful candidate trait for future association and linkage studies in the search for genes influencing autonomic regulation and cardiovascular disease risk.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1779-1786
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftJournal of Hypertension
Nummer van het tijdschrift9
StatusPublished - sep.-2006

Citeer dit