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The sympathetic overdrive that characterizes essential hypertension is potentiated when left ventricular hypertrophy or congestive heart failure is detected. No information exists, however, on whether this is the case also for left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. In 17 untreated hypertensive subjects with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (age: 47.7Â±2.9 years, meanÂ±SEM), we measured sympathetic nerve traffic (microneurography), heart rate (ECG), and beat-to-beat arterial blood pressure (Finapres) at rest and during baroreceptor deactivation and stimulation. Data were compared with those collected in 20 age-matched normotensive and 20 hypertensive subjects without a diastolic function impairment. Muscle sympathetic nerve traffic values were markedly and significantly greater in the 2 hypertensive groups than in the normotensive one (55.3Â±1.2 and 71.2Â±1.6 versus 41.7Â±1.0 bursts per 100 heartbeats, respectively; P
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