Abstract P315: Increase in Stress May Contribute to Lower Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Young Subjects
Background: Stress is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and decreased heart rate variability is associated to increased mortality in some cardiac diseases. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of perceived stress on cardiac autonomic regulation in young healthy volunteers.
Methods: 35 young healthy volunteers (19 to 29 years old, 6 men) from a Brazilian population were assessed for perceived stress by the translated and validated Perceived Stress Scale (PSS, 14 questions) and had the R-R intervals recorded at rest on supine position (POLAR RS800CX) and analyzed (5 minutes, Kubius HRV software) by Fast-Fourier Transform for quantification of Heart Rate Variability (HRV).
Results: Average data (±SD) for age, heart rate, BMI, waist circumference and percentage of body fat (%BF) were: 21.3±2.7 years; 65.5±7.9 bpm; 22.3±1.9 Kg/m2; 76.0±6.1 cm and 32.1±6.6%; respectively. The mean score for the PSS-14 was 23.5±7.2 and for the HRV parameter as follow: SSDN=54.8±21.2ms; rMSSD=55.9±32.2ms; low-frequency (LF)= 794.8±579.7ms2; High-frequency (HF)= 1508.0±1783.0 ms2; LF(n.u.)= 41.1±16.2; HF(n.u.)= 58.9±16.2; LF/HF=0.89±0.80 and Total power (TP)= 3151±2570ms2. Spearman nonparametric correlation was calculated and there was a significant correlation of PSS-14 scores and LF (ms2) (r=−0.343; p= 0.044). Other HRV variables did not shown significant correlation but also had negative values for Spearman r (TP r=−0.265, p=0.124; HF r=−0.158; SSDN r=−0.207; rMSSD r=−0.243, p=0.160). LF/HF and LF(n.u.) did not correlate to PSS-14 having Spearman r very close to zero (LF/HF r=−0.007, p=0.969; LF(n.u.) r=−0.005, p=0.976). No correlation was found for HRV parameters and BMI and there was a trend for statistical correlation of %BF and LF (ms2) (r=−0.309, p=0.071).
Conclusions: These data demonstrate a possible association of perceived stress level and HRV at rest. Changes in LF can be a consequence of both sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, however, analyzing the other variables HF, TP, SSDN and rMSSD (all negative Spearman r) and due to the lack of changes in LF/HF ratio and LF(n.u.) we interpret that increased stress may be associated to decrease in overall heart rate variability. These changes were seen in healthy individuals and may point out an important mechanism in cardiovascular disease development.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.