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Association between reaction time and heart rate variability in adolescents with cardiovascular risk

Shailaja S Patil, Anita Herur, Rashmi Neginhal, Shivajirao V Brid, Manjula R, Ashok S Dorle.


Background: In obesity and/or family history of hypertension (HT) or diabetes mellitus (DM), there is a higher prevalence of cardiovascular (CV) disease in the subject, which is supposed to be due to autonomic imbalance. The alterations in cardiac autonomic functions can be assessed by heart rate variability (HRV) indicators and there is a relationship between HRV and reaction time (RT) also.

Aims and Objectives: This study aims to assess the HRV and RT in adolescents with CV risk and also to find the association between these two parameters.

Materials and Methods: A total of 39 adolescents with CV risk (15 females and 24 males) in the age group of 14–15 years who were obese or/and had family history of HT or DM in parents were selected. Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, HRV parameters, and RT were recorded.

Results: HRV was reduced in CV risk groups, both in females and males as compared to normal subjects and lower values were recorded in females as compared to males. There was also a negative correlation of HRV with RT both in males and females but statistically significant only in females.

Conclusion: Adolescents with CV risk have reduced HRV and such individuals are more prone to CV diseases. RT, which is a marker of cognitive ability, is increased in persons with decreased HRV, and hence, such CV risk adolescents should be followed up and given timely intervention.

Key words: Heart Rate Variability; Reaction Time; Cardiovascular Risk; Adolescents

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