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Life Sci. 2010 Jan 30;86(5-6):153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.11.018. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Association of body fat percentage and heart rate variability measures of sympathovagal balance.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20059, USA. rmillis@howard.edu

Abstract

AIMS:

We tested the hypothesis that body fat percentage determines cardiac sympathovagal balance in healthy subjects.

MAIN METHODS:

Heart rate variability (HRV) measurements were made of the standard deviation of the normal-normal RR intervals (SDNN) and the low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio, from time domain and fast Fourier transform spectral analysis of electrocardiogram RR intervals during trials of uncontrolled and controlled (paced) breathing at 0.2Hz. Body fat percentage was measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometric (DEXA) scanning. Significance of differences between uncontrolled and controlled (paced) breathing was determined by analysis of variance and correlations between body fat percentage and HRV measurements by Pearson's coefficient at P<0.05.

KEY FINDINGS:

Percent body fat was negatively correlated with LF/HF during the uncontrolled breathing (r=-0.56, two-tailed P<0.05, one-tailed P<0.01) but not during the paced breathing trial (r=-0.34, (P>0.1).

SIGNIFICANCE:

We conclude that sympathetic activity produced by paced breathing at 0.2Hz can obscure the relationship between body fat percentage and sympathovagal balance and that high body fat percentage may be associated with low sympathetic modulation of the heart rate in healthy adolescent/young adult males.

PMID:
19958777
PMCID:
PMC3743431
DOI:
10.1016/j.lfs.2009.11.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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