UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Hypertension Assessment via ECG and PPG Signals: An Evaluation Using MIMIC Database Liang, Yongbo; Chen, Zhencheng; Ward, Rabab Kreidieh; Elgendi, Mohamed


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have become the biggest threat to human health, and they are accelerated by hypertension. The best way to avoid the many complications of CVDs is to manage and prevent hypertension at an early stage. However, there are no symptoms at all for most types of hypertension, especially for prehypertension. The awareness and control rates of hypertension are extremely low. In this study, a novel hypertension management method based on arterial wave propagation theory and photoplethysmography (PPG) morphological theory was researched to explore the physiological changes in different blood pressure (BP) levels. Pulse Arrival Time (PAT) and photoplethysmogram (PPG) features were extracted from electrocardiogram (ECG) and PPG signals to represent the arterial wave propagation theory and PPG morphological theory, respectively. Three feature sets, one containing PAT only, one containing PPG features only, and one containing both PAT and PPG features, were used to classify the different BP categories, defined as normotension, prehypertension, and hypertension. PPG features were shown to classify BP categories more accurately than PAT. Furthermore, PAT and PPG combined features improved the BP classification performance. The F1 scores to classify normotension versus prehypertension reached 84.34%, the scores for normotension versus hypertension reached 94.84%, and the scores for normotension plus prehypertension versus hypertension reached 88.49%. This indicates that the simultaneous collection of ECG and PPG signals could detect hypertension.

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