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Olle Melander

Principal investigator

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Dipping and variability of blood pressure and heart rate at night are heritable traits.


  • Cristiano Fava
  • Philippe Burri
  • Peter Almgren
  • Guido Arcaro
  • Leif Groop
  • Lennart Hulthén
  • Olle Melander

Summary, in English

Background: Blunted nocturnal blood pressure dipping (NBPD) as well as high variability in blood pressure (BPV) and low variability in heart rate (HRV), are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to determine whether these traits are heritable. Methods: We studied 260 healthy siblings without antihypertensive drugs from 118 Swedish families. The BPV and HRV were defined as the standard deviation of BP and heart rate values recorded during 24 h, daytime (6 AM to 10 Pm), and night-time (10 Pm to 6 AM). The NBPD was defined as the ratio between night-time and daytime BP. Heritability was estimated with a maximal likelihood method implemented in the Solar software package with and without adjustment for significant covariates. Results: At night, significant heritability was found for systolic (33%, P <.05), diastolic (36%, P <.05), and mean (42%, P <.01) BPV. After covariate adjustment the corresponding heritability values were 23% (P =.08), 29% (P <.05), and 37% (P <.05). Daytime BPV was not heritable. The heritability of NBPD was 38% (P <.05) for systolic, 9% (P =.29) for diastolic, and 36% (P <.05) for mean BP, but after adjustment only systolic NBPD was significant (29%, P <.05). Heart rate was highly heritable both during daytime (57%, P <.001) and night-time (58%, P <.001), but the variability of heart rate, after adjustment, was only significant at night (37%, P <.05). Conclusions: Our data suggest that BPV and HRV are partially under genetic control and that genetic loci of importance for these traits could be mapped by linkage analysis. Am J Hypertens 2005;18:1402-1407 0 2005 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.


  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö

Publishing year







American Journal of Hypertension





Document type

Conference paper




  • Endocrinology and Diabetes

Conference name

20th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Hypertension

Conference date

2005-05-14 - 2005-05-18

Conference place

San Francisco, California, United States



Research group

  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology


  • ISSN: 1941-7225
  • ISSN: 0895-7061