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Assessment of cardiac sympathovagal activity with change in body weight in young adult males

Nikita Jain, Kamla Choudhary, Islam Khan, Jasmin Parmar, Shalaka Agarwal.


Background: Today in the modern era, sedentary lifestyle is continuously escalating the problem of increasing weight in the young population. It is an alarming issue because increase in weight causes many health hazards mainly autonomic imbalance and altered cardiovascular functions. These cardiovascular changes can be assessed by calculating heart rate variability (HRV), which is an economical tool and non-invasive method.

Aims and Objectives: The present study was carried out to assess the effect of increase weight on HRV and to find out the association between body mass index (BMI) and HRV parameters.

Materials and Methods: Sixty male subjects, age ranges from 17 to 35 years, were included. The subjects were categorized into three groups as normal, obese, and overweight based on their BMI. The electrocardiogram was recorded and frequency domain parameters of HRV were obtained from it. Parameters were compared between all the three groups using ANOVA test and post hoc test.

Results: Frequency domain variable high-frequency (HF) (nu) which mainly depicts parasympathetic influences was significantly lower in overweight and obese group as compared to normal weight group, whereas low frequency (LF) (nu) and LF/HF ratio marker of sympathovagal imbalance were significantly higher in overweight and obese group.

Conclusion: The sympathovagal balance is sloped toward sympathetic predominance which is a predisposed risk for the cardiovascular disorders and cardiac morbidity. Hence, a timely intervention in lifestyle and obesity regime can prove to be a useful tool for improving the quality and longevity of life.

Key words: Obesity; Overweight Parasympathetic Influences; Sympathovagal imbalance

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