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Cardiac autonomic balance versus cardiac regulatory capacity

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Abstract

The concept of autonomic balance views autonomic states along a bipolar continuum from sympathetic (S) to parasympathetic (P) dominance, whereas regulatory capacity models emphasize overall autonomic flexibility as a marker of the capacity for regulation. These two concepts were evaluated for their utility in characterizing patterns of autonomic control. Measures of P (high frequency heart rate variability, HF) and S (preejection period, PEP) cardiac control were obtained. A measure of cardiac autonomic balance (CAB) was derived as the difference in the normalized P index minus the S index, and a measure of cardiac autonomic regulation (CAR) was derived as the normalized P index plus the S index. Results reveal that CAR, but not CAB, was a significant predictor of the prior occurrence of a myocardial infarction, net of demographic and other variables, whereas CAB, but not CAR, was a significant predictor of concurrent diabetes.
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Keywords: Autonomic balance; Cardiac control; Diabetes; Heart rate variability; Myocardial infarction; Parasympathetic; Pre-ejection period; Respiratory sinus arrhythmia; Sympathetic

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA 2: Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience and The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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