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J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Mar;10(3):CC11-5. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/16889.7497. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Age Related Changes in Autonomic Functions.

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Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, AIIMS , Bhopal, (M.P), India .
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences & Research , Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India .
Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS , Bhopal, (M.P), India .
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, LLRM Medical College , Meerut, U.P, India .
Professor, Department of Physiology, LLRM Medical College , Meerut, (U.P), India .



Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) imbalance may trigger or enhance pathology in different organ systems that varies in different age groups hence objective of present study was to evaluate association of different Age-groups with autonomic functions.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in 62 healthy volunteers in Department of Physiology LLRM Medical College Meerut, India. Volunteers were divided into three groups as younger (15-45 years), middle (45-60) and elder age (above 60), Autonomic functions were tested in three domains viz. Cardio-vagal, adrenergic and sudomotor functions. Numerical data was summarized as mean and standard deviation and categorical data as count and percentage. ANOVA and Chi-square test were used to find difference among groups, p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.


Mean ± standard deviation OHT(Orthostatic Hypotension Test) among of younger, middle and elder age groups were 8.80±2.28, 13.40±4.64 and 21.82±6.04 respectively which represent decrease in sympathetic functions with age (p<0.001). Cardio-vagal or parasympathetic responses indicated by DBT (Deep Breathing Test) Valsalva and 30:15 ratio of HR response to standing tests has shown statistically significant (p<0.001) decrease in mean response with increasing age. Sudomotor response appeared normal in younger and middle group but was interrupted in more than half of elderly people (p<0.001).


Sympathetic responses & para-sympathetic responses have shown the significant decline with increasing age group. Sudomotor responses were partially interrupted in elderly age group.


Adrenergic and sudomotor functions; Ageing; Autonomic functions; Cardio-vagal; Different age groups

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