Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Peter Engler

Second Advisor

Joaquim J. Correia

Third Advisor

Stanley S. Reisman

Fourth Advisor

David S. Kristol

Abstract

The incidence of hypertension is more prevalent among the Afro-American population than the Caucasians and there is not a satisfactory explanation for this discrepancy.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) has been demonstrated to reflect the relative activities of the sympathetic (SMP) and parasympathetic (PSMP) divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

This study consisted in comparing the HRV, as well as the blood pressure (BP) of four different groups during up-right tilt table testing. The subjects were grouped by age, gender, race and health condition. Analysis in time and frequency domain was applied to the data. In the frequency domain, the LF and HF bands were studied. In the time domain, a new parameter was proposed to analyze the data. As a result, the ratio of the FIF area, from the supine to the standing positions, was higher in the hypertensive group than the normotensive one, and the ratio of the LF area was higher in the normotensives than the others. On the other hand, Afro-Americans had a higher LF area ratio than Caucasians and a lower HF area ratio.

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