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Cardiac autonomic modulation in healthy elderly after different intensities of dynamic exercise

Authors Droguett VS, Santos AC, Medeiros CE, Marques DP, Nascimento LS, Brasileiro-Santos MS

Received 13 February 2014

Accepted for publication 10 April 2014

Published 12 January 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 203—208

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S62346

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Viviane Santos López Droguett,1 Amilton da Cruz Santos,2 Carlos Eduardo de Medeiros,2 Douglas Porto Marques,2 Leone Severino do Nascimento,2 Maria do Socorro Brasileiro-Santos2

1Department of Pathology, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil; 2Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Paraiba, João Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil


Purpose: To investigate the heart rate (HR) and its autonomic modulation at baseline and during dynamic postexercise (PEX) with intensities of 40% and 60% of the maximum HR in healthy elderly.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included ten apparently healthy people who had been submitted to a protocol on a cycle ergometer for 35 minutes. Autonomic modulation was evaluated by spectral analysis of HR variability (HRV).
Results: A relevant increase in HR response was observed at 15 minutes postexercise with intensities of 60% and 40% of the maximum HR (10±2 bpm versus 5±1 bpm, respectively; P=0.005), and a significant reduction in HRV was also noted with 40% and 60% intensities during the rest period, and significant reduction in HRV (RR variance) was also observed in 40% and 60% intensities when compared to the baseline, as well as between the post-exercise intensities (1032±32 ms versus 905±5 ms) (P<0.001). In the HRV spectral analysis, a significant increase in the low frequency component HRV and autonomic balance at 40% of the maximum HR (68±2 normalized units [nu] versus 55±1 nu and 2.0±0.1 versus 1.2±0.1; P<0.001) and at 60% of the maximum HR (77±1 nu versus 55±1 nu and 3.2±0.1 versus 1.2±0.1 [P<0.001]) in relation to baseline was observed. A significant reduction of high frequency component at 40% and 60% intensities, however, was observed when compared to baseline (31±2 nu and 23±1 nu versus 45±1 nu, respectively; P<0.001). Moreover, significant differences were observed for the low frequency and high frequency components, as well as for the sympathovagal balance between participants who reached 40% and 60% of the maximum HR.
Conclusion: There was an increase in the HR, sympathetic modulation, and sympathovagal balance, as well as a reduction in vagal modulation in the elderly at both intensities of the PEX.

Keywords: heart rate, autonomic nervous system, exercise

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