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Effect of physical activity on heart rate variability in normal weight, overweight and obese subjects: results from the SAPALDIA study


Felber Dietrich, D; Ackermann-Liebrich, U; Schindler, C; Barthélémy, J C; Brändli, O; Gold, D R; Knöpfli, B; Probst-Hensch, N M; Roche, F; Tschopp, J M; von Eckardstein, A; Gaspoz, J M (2008). Effect of physical activity on heart rate variability in normal weight, overweight and obese subjects: results from the SAPALDIA study. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 104(3):557-565.

Abstract

Many studies have demonstrated an association of both a sedentary lifestyle and a high body mass index (BMI) with greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Within the prospective SAPALDIA cohort (Swiss cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults), we investigated whether regular exercise was protective against reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a clinically relevant predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and whether adverse effects of obesity and weight gain on HRV were modified by regular exercise. Twenty-four-hour electrocardiograms were recorded in 1,712 randomly selected SAPALDIA participants aged >or=50, for whom BMI was assessed in the years 1991 and 2001-2003. Other examinations included an interview investigating health status (especially respiratory and cardiovascular health and health relevant behaviours including physical activity) and measurements of blood pressure, body height and weight. The association between regular physical activity and HRV and interactions with BMI and BMI change was assessed in multivariable linear regression analyses. Compared to sedentary obese subjects, SDNN (standard deviation of all RR intervals) was 14% (95% CI: 8-20%) higher in sedentary normal weight subjects; 19% (CI: 12-27%) higher in normal weight subjects exercising regularly >or=2 h/week; and 19% (CI: 11-28%) higher in obese subjects exercising regularly >or=2 h/week. Compared with sedentary subjects who gained weight, those who gained weight but did exercise regularly had a 13% higher SDNN (CI: 7-20%). Regular physical exercise has strong beneficial effects on cardiac autonomic nervous function and thus appears to offset the negative effect of obesity on HRV.

Many studies have demonstrated an association of both a sedentary lifestyle and a high body mass index (BMI) with greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Within the prospective SAPALDIA cohort (Swiss cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults), we investigated whether regular exercise was protective against reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a clinically relevant predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and whether adverse effects of obesity and weight gain on HRV were modified by regular exercise. Twenty-four-hour electrocardiograms were recorded in 1,712 randomly selected SAPALDIA participants aged >or=50, for whom BMI was assessed in the years 1991 and 2001-2003. Other examinations included an interview investigating health status (especially respiratory and cardiovascular health and health relevant behaviours including physical activity) and measurements of blood pressure, body height and weight. The association between regular physical activity and HRV and interactions with BMI and BMI change was assessed in multivariable linear regression analyses. Compared to sedentary obese subjects, SDNN (standard deviation of all RR intervals) was 14% (95% CI: 8-20%) higher in sedentary normal weight subjects; 19% (CI: 12-27%) higher in normal weight subjects exercising regularly >or=2 h/week; and 19% (CI: 11-28%) higher in obese subjects exercising regularly >or=2 h/week. Compared with sedentary subjects who gained weight, those who gained weight but did exercise regularly had a 13% higher SDNN (CI: 7-20%). Regular physical exercise has strong beneficial effects on cardiac autonomic nervous function and thus appears to offset the negative effect of obesity on HRV.

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Additional indexing

Contributors:Sapaldia Team
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Clinical Chemistry
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Surgical Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
540 Chemistry
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:17 Nov 2008 13:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:33
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1439-6319
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00421-008-0800-0
PubMed ID:18597107
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-5389

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