Heart rate variability and its changes over 5 years in older adults

Phyllis K. Stein, Joshua I. Barzilay, Paulo H M Chaves, Peter P. Domitrovich, John S. Gottdiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: to characterise the association between age, ageing and heart rate variability (HRV) in older individuals, 585 adults age >65 years with two 24-h Holter recordings in the Cardiovascular Health Study were studied. Methods: heart rate (HR), ventricular premature contractions (VPCs), atrial premature contractions (APCs), frequency-domain, ratio-based and non-linear HRV and heart rate turbulence (HRT) were examined cross-sectionally by 5-year age groups and prospectively over 5 years. Analyses adjusted for gender, lower versus elevated cardiovascular (CV) risk and for the change in CV risk. Results: HR declined, and VPCs and APCs increased per 5-year increase in age. Frequency-domain HRV decreased more at 65-69, less at 70-74 and minimally at ≥75 years, independent of CVD risk or change in CVD risk. Ratio and non-linear HRV continued to decline to ≥75 years old. Ratio HRV and HRT slope were more strongly related to CVD risk than frequency-domain HRV. Conclusions: cardiac autonomic function, assessed by frequency-domain HRV, declines most at 65-70 and levels off at age >75. The decline is independent of CVD risk or change in CVD risk. Ratio-based and non-linear HRV and HRT slope continued to change with increasing age and were more closely related to CVD risk than frequency-domain HRV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Ambulatory ECG
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Elderly
  • Heart rate variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Stein, P. K., Barzilay, J. I., Chaves, P. H. M., Domitrovich, P. P., & Gottdiener, J. S. (2009). Heart rate variability and its changes over 5 years in older adults. Age and Ageing, 38(2), 212-218. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afn292