1. Carotid baroreceptor-heart rate sensitivity has been measured non-invasively by a modified neck-chamber method that utilizes all cardiac intervals recorded in 6 min during 84 respiratory cycles.
2. In a replication study in 10 subjects the mean baroreflex sensitivity was 5.52 ms/mmHg and the mean (sd) difference between determinations was 0.70 (0.74) ms/mmHg.
3. Baroreflex sensitivity was measured in 48 untreated subjects of mean age 43 (range 20–71) years with blood pressures ranging from 104 to 202 mmHg (13.9 to 26.9 kPa) systolic and 52 to 120 mmHg (6.9 to 16.0 kPa) diastolic [average 142/87 mmHg (18.9/11.6 kPa)]. Both systolic and diastolic pressures correlated with age (r = 0.53, P < 0.001 and r = 0.44, P < 0.01).
4. Baroreflex sensitivity determined throughout respiration was log-normally distributed with a median value of 2.24 ms/mmHg, which declined with age (r = −0.63, P < 0.001).
5. After allowing for the effects of age, baroreflex sensitivity throughout respiration was not independently related to either systolic or diastolic blood pressure.