Neuroendocrine mechanisms and cardiovascular homeostasis in the elderly

Paddy A. Phillips, G. Peter Hodsman, Colin I. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Reduced homeostatic capacity is typical of the aging process and is particularly apparent in changes in the neuroendocrine control of cardiovascular homeostasis. Not only is there reduced β-adrenoceptor responsiveness, but reduced baroreflex function also occurs with age. These result in increased sensitivity to the therapeutic and postural hypotensive effects of diuretics and vasodilators. Increased total body sodium and reduced activity of the reninangiotensin-aldosterone system may also contribute to the therapeutic effect of diuretics and salt restriction in elderly hypertensives. In addition, atrial natriuretic peptide levels are increased in the elderly and may in part be responsible for the suppressed renin and aldosterone levels found in older groups. Vasopressin secretion and thirst are also disturbed with age, and may act in concert with declining renal function to predispose the elderly to disturbances of water balance. An understanding of these neuroendocrine changes with age is important to maximize therapeutic benefit and to minimize adverse effects in the treatment of hypertension in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1213
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • aldosterone
  • angiotensin
  • atrial natriuretic peptide
  • catecholamines
  • hypertension
  • renin
  • thirst
  • vasopressin


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuroendocrine mechanisms and cardiovascular homeostasis in the elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this