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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


PANTONI, CBF et al. Study on autonomic heart rate modulation at rest among elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2007, vol.11, n.1, pp.35-41. ISSN 1413-3555.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate heart rate variability (HRV) among elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and healthy elderly individuals, during postural change. METHOD: Nine individuals with COPD (70 years old) and eight healthy individuals (68 years old) were studied. Heart rate and electrocardiographic R-R intervals (iR-R) were recorded for 360 seconds in the supine and seated positions. HRV was analyzed in the time domain (TD) (RMSSD index, i.e. the root mean square of the squares of the differences between successive iR-R records, and the SDNN index, i.e. the mean standard deviation of normal iR-R in ms) and in the frequency domain (FD), from the low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) bands in absolute units (au) and normalized units (nu), and the LF/HF ratio. The Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon Tests respectively were utilized for inter--group and intra-group analysis, with a significant level of p< 0.05 (median values). RESULTS: In TD, the control group (CG) presented significantly higher values for the RMSSD index (14.6 versus 8.3 ms) and the SDNN index (23 versus 13.5 ms) in the seated position, in comparison with the COPD group (DG). In FD, the CG presented significantly higher values for HF components, in the supine position (39 versus 7.8 au), and for LF components (146.7 versus 24.4 au) and HF (67.6 versus 22.7 au), in the seated position, as well as for the total power spectrum (552.5 versus 182.9 ms2). CONCLUSION: Patients with COPD presented reduced HRV with decreased sympathetic and vagal activity. Additionally, neither the COPD patients nor the healthy elderly participants presented autonomic alterations with postural change.

Keywords : heart rate variability; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; autonomic nervous system; resting condition.

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