Long & short-term blood pressure & RR-interval variability & psychosomatic distress in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

1. Chronic low blood pressure has been associated with fatigue
and low mood. However, in the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
the blood pressure (BP) and heart rate profile and their
variabilities have not been characterized as yet. 2. We
performed office and 24 h ambulatory BP recordings in 38
subjects (age, 34.8 +/- 8.0 years) who fulfilled the Holmes
criteria for CFS and in 38 healthy control subjects (age 35.6
+/- 10.5 years), as well as short-term beat-to-beat BP and
RR-interval recordings for 10 min in supine and standing
position, and calculated spectral indices. 3. In CFS office
(123 +/- 19/70 +/- 12 mmHg) as well as 24-h, day- and
night-time blood pressure values (116 +/- 11.1/71 +/- 11.1,
121 +/- 9.2/77 +/- 8.0 and 110 +/- 10.5/65 +/- 9.2 mmHg
respectively) were within reference limits. 4. Heart rate was
consistently higher (P < 0.01) in CFS patients, based on both
office (77 +/- 12 compared with 68 +/- 12 beats min-1) and 24
h ambulatory recordings (77 +/- 12 compared with 67 +/- 15
beats min-1). 5. In supine position, spectral indices of BP
variability (total, low- frequency and high-frequency
variances) were all significantly (P < 0.01) lower in CFS. In
standing position the differences disappeared. Analysis of
RR-interval variability could not detect major alterations in
autonomic function in CFS.

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