Influence of Age on Linear and Nonlinear Measures of Autonomic Cardiovascular Modulation
Methods: Linear and nonlinear measures of heart rate variability and complexity as well as measures of QT interval variability and baroreflex sensitivity were obtained from a total of 131 healthy, medication-free participants from a continuous age range between 20 and 90 years, who were allocated to three different age groups.
Results: Heart rate variability and complexity significantly decreased with age, while regularity of heart rate time series increased. In addition, QT interval variability linearly increased with age, while baroreflex sensitivity showed a pronounced decrease. Overall, concerning effects of ageing, linear and nonlinear parameters showed equal differentiation between groups.
Conclusion: These data indicate a shift of autonomic balance toward sympathetic predominance in higher age groups, limiting the reactiveness of the cardiovascular system to adjust to different demands and increasing the risk for developing tachyarrhythmias.
Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol 2010;15(2):165–174
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Jena, Germany 2: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA 3: Department of Medical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Applied Sciences, Jena, Germany
Publication date: April 1, 2010