Research Study Abstract

Correlation between heart rate variability and pulmonary function adjusted by confounding factors in healthy adults

  • Published on Feb 2, 2016

Abstract: The autonomic nervous system maintains homeostasis, which is the state of balance in the body. That balance can be determined simply and noninvasively by evaluating heart rate variability (HRV). However, independently of autonomic control of the heart, HRV can be influenced by other factors, such as respiratory parameters. Little is known about the relationship between HRV and spirometric indices. In this study, our objective was to determine whether HRV correlates with spirometric indices in adults without cardiopulmonary disease, considering the main confounders (e.g., smoking and physical inactivity). In a sample of 119 asymptomatic adults (age 20-80 years), we evaluated forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). We evaluated resting HRV indices within a 5-min window in the middle of a 10-min recording period, thereafter analyzing time and frequency domains. To evaluate daily physical activity, we instructed participants to use a triaxial accelerometer for 7 days. Physical inactivity was defined as <150 min/week of moderate to intense physical activity. We found that FVC and FEV1, respectively, correlated significantly with the following aspects of the RR interval: standard deviation of the RR intervals (r =0.31 and 0.35), low-frequency component (r =0.38 and 0.40), and Poincaré plot SD2 (r =0.34 and 0.36). Multivariate regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, smoking, physical inactivity, and cardiovascular risk, identified the SD2 and dyslipidemia as independent predictors of FVC and FEV1 (R 2=0.125 and 0.180, respectively, for both). We conclude that pulmonary function is influenced by autonomic control of cardiovascular function, independently of the main confounders.

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  • M.S. Bianchim 1
  • E.F. Sperandio 1
  • G.S. Martinhão 1
  • A.C. Matheus 1
  • V.T. Lauria 1
  • R.P. da Silva 1
  • R.C. Spadari 2
  • A.R.T. Gagliardi 3
  • R.L. Arantes 3
  • M. Romiti 3
  • V.Z. Dourado 1


  • 1

    Laboratório de Epidemiologia e Movimento Humano, Departamento de Ciências do Movimento Humano, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Santos, SP, Brasil

  • 2

    Departamento de Biociências, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Santos, SP, Brasil

  • 3

    AngioCorpore Instituto de Medicina Cardiovascular, Santos, SP, Brasil


Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research


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