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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


BRUNETTO, Antônio Fernando et al. Heart rate variability threshold in obese and non-obese adolescents. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2008, vol.14, n.2, pp.145-149. ISSN 1517-8692.

Obesity in adolescence is associated with a cardiac sympathetic-parasympathetic dysfunction at rest. However, there is little information about the autonomic response during exercise in these adolescents. OBJECTIVE: To compare the cardiac autonomic modulation during a maximal exercise test in obese and non-obese adolescents and analyze the association between the Heart Rate Variability threshold (HRVT) and the Ventilatory threshold (VT). METHODS: Ten obese and 19 non-obese male adolescents with age between 13-18 years were submitted to a maximal progressive treadmill physical exercise test for Heart Rate Variability (HRV) study and VT determination. HRV was assessed through the study of Poincaré Plot, by the analysis of the standard deviation of instantaneous beat-to-beat variability (SD1). HRVT was defined as the effort intensity at which the SD1 reached less than 3 ms. RESULTS: The SD1 index reduced progressively in both groups until approximately 50-60% of VO2peak, while the obese adolescents showed lower significant values (p<0.001) only in the relative intensity of 20% of VO2peak. The obese adolescents showed relative values ( of VO2peak and VT significantly lower (p<0.05) than non-obese ones. There were no significant differences between VT and HRVT, expressed in absolute and relative VO2 values for neither groups. However, no significant correlations between VT and HRVT were found, neither in absolute nor relative values. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity in adolescence does not seem to be associated with the autonomic modulation during physical exercise. It is possible to determine the HRVT by Poincaré Plot in obese and non-obese adolescents. Nonetheless, the absence of statistical association between HRVT and VT suggests a lack of causal relationship between these events.

Keywords : autonomic nervous system; heart rate variability; obesity; physical exercise; ventilatory threshold.

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