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Heart rate variability assessment with fingertip photoplethysmography and polar RS800cx as compared with electrocardiography in obese adolescents

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Aim: This study investigated the accuracy and reliability of short-term resting heart rate variability (HRV) assessment by fingertip photoplethysmography (PPG) and using a cardiofrequencimeter (Polar RS800cx) in obese adolescents. Obesity in adolescents may be related to autonomic dysfunction due to insulin resistance and/or increased central fat. This fact may affect the accuracy and reliability of the evaluation of autonomic activity at rest. Methods: Fourteen adolescents (15±2 years) classified as obese and exhibiting insulin resistance underwent the following procedures: (a) anthropometric measurements, and (b) two 25-min HRV recordings in a supine position conducted simultaneously using ECG, PPG, and Polar RS800cx. Results: The results showed significant correlations between HRV markers obtained using Polar RS800cx and PPG and those obtained from ECG, with coefficients of determination (R 2) and intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.60 to 0.98 (P-value ranging from 0.03 to 0.05) and 0.70 to 0.99 (P-value ranging from 0.01 to 0.05), respectively. The technical error of measurement and intraclass correlation coefficients for test–retest reliability ranged from 8.9 to 45.8% and 0.38 to 0.68 for ECG, 8.0 to 30.5% and 0.29 to 0.61 for Polar RS800cx, and 7.2 to 54.6% and 0.45 to 0.64 for PPG, respectively. Conclusion: HRV indices calculated by Polar RS800cx and PPG appear to be as accurate and reproducible as data from ECG when evaluating the autonomic control of heart rate at rest in obese adolescents.
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Keywords: cardiac autonomic function; heart rate monitor; obesity; spectral analysis; test–retest reliability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport 2: Centre of Research in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure Activity, Porto University, Porto, Portugal 3: Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Medical Sciences Graduate Program, Faculty of Medical Sciences 4: Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Institute of Physical Education and Sports 5: Clinical and Experimental Research Laboratory on Vascular Biology (BioVasc), University of Rio de Janeiro State 6: Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Physical Activity Sciences Graduate Program, Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Publication date: 01 December 2015

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