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Int J Psychophysiol. 2000 Aug;37(2):185-94.

The relationships of resting baroreflex sensitivity, heart rate variability and measures of impulse control in children and adolescents.

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Division of Education and Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast, 730 East Beach Boulevard, Long Beach, MS 39560, USA.


The objectives of the present study were to assess: (1) the feasibility of using a non-invasive method to measure baroreflex sensitivity in children and adolescents; (2) the relationships of resting baroreflex sensitivity with resting levels of other cardiovascular variables; and (3) whether baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability, two indices of cardiac vagal control at rest, were related to measures of impulse control. Ninety-one Black and White children (ages 8-10) and adolescents (ages 15-17), both female and male, participated in the study. Baroreflex sensitivity, auscultatory blood pressure, EKG-derived heart rate, and the mean successive difference of interbeat intervals were collected during a 10-min rest period. Measures of impulse control came from the Interview for Antisocial Behavior. Baroreflex sensitivity was strongly positively correlated with mean successive difference and negatively correlated with heart rate for all participant groups; baroreflex sensitivity was negatively correlated with diastolic blood pressure, but only for children, males, and Blacks. Increased problems with impulse control was associated with decreased cardiac vagal control, but only in males. The usefulness of this technique as a measure of vagal activation is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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