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Front Hum Neurosci. 2012 Mar 19;6:54. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00054. eCollection 2012.

Meditation-induced changes in high-frequency heart rate variability predict smoking outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven CT, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) is a measure of parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) output that has been associated with enhanced self-regulation. Low resting levels of HF-HRV are associated with nicotine dependence and blunted stress-related changes in HF-HRV are associated with decreased ability to resist smoking. Meditation has been shown to increase HF-HRV. However, it is unknown whether tonic levels of HF-HRV or acute changes in HF-HRV during meditation predict treatment responses in addictive behaviors such as smoking cessation.

PURPOSE:

To investigate the relationship between HF-HRV and subsequent smoking outcomes.

METHODS:

HF-HRV during resting baseline and during mindfulness meditation was measured within two weeks of completing a 4-week smoking cessation intervention in a sample of 31 community participants. Self-report measures of smoking were obtained at a follow up 17-weeks after the initiation of treatment.

RESULTS:

Regression analyses indicated that individuals exhibiting acute increases in HF-HRV from resting baseline to meditation smoked fewer cigarettes at follow-up than those who exhibited acute decreases in HF-HRV (b = -4.89, p = 0.008).

CONCLUSION:

Acute changes in HF-HRV in response to meditation may be a useful tool to predict smoking cessation treatment response.

KEYWORDS:

heart rate variability; meditation; mindfulness; smoking cessation

PMID:
22457646
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3307046
Free PMC Article
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