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Keywords:

  • Ambulatory blood pressure recording;
  • Autonomic nervous system;
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Abstract

Aim:  To compare ambulatory recordings of heart rate (HR) and blood pressure in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and healthy controls. We hypothesized both HR and blood pressure to be elevated among CFS patients.

Methods:  Forty-four CFS patients aged 12–18 years were recruited from our paediatric outpatient clinic. The controls were 52 healthy adolescents having similar distribution of age and gender. 24-h ambulatory blood pressure and HR were recorded using a validated, portable oscillometric device.

Results:  At night (sleep), HR, mean arterial blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were significantly higher in CFS patients as compared with controls (p < 0.01). During daytime, HR was significantly higher among CFS patients (p < 0.05), whereas blood pressures were equal among the two groups.

Conclusions:  The findings support previous experimental evidence of sympathetic predominance of cardiovascular control in adolescent CFS patients. Also, the findings prompt increased focus on cardiovascular risk assessment and suggest a possible target for therapeutic intervention.