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The Effect of High-Altitude Acclimatisation on Ultra-Short Heart Rate Variability.

Boos, C. J., Mellor, A., Woods, D. R. and O'Hara, J. P., 2022. The Effect of High-Altitude Acclimatisation on Ultra-Short Heart Rate Variability. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 9, 787147.

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DOI: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.787147


Introduction: High-altitude (HA) exposure affects heart rate variability (HRV) and has been inconsistently linked to acute mountain sickness (AMS). The influence of increasing HA exposure on ultra-short HRV and its relationship to gold standard HRV measures at HA has not been examined. Methods: This was a prospective observational study of adults aged ≥ 18 years undertaking a HA trek in the Dhaulagiri region of the Himalayas. Cardiac inter-beatintervals were obtained from a 10-s recording of supra-systolic blood pressure (Uscom BP+ device) immediately followed by 300 s single lead ECG recording (CheckMyHeart device). HRV was measured using the RMSSD (root mean square of successive differences of NN intervals) at sea level (SL) in the United Kingdom and at 3,619, 4,600, and 5,140 m at HA. Oxygen saturations (SpO2) were measured using finger-based pulse oximetry. The level of agreement between the 10 and 300 s RMSSD values were examined using a modified Bland–Altman relative-difference analysis. Results: Overall, 89 participants aged 32.2 ± 8.8 years (range 18–56) were included of which 70.8% were men. HA exposure (SL vs. 3,619 m) was associated with an initial increase in both 10 s (45.0 [31.0–82.0]) vs. 58.0 [33.0–119.0] ms) and 300 s (45.67 [33.24–70.32] vs. 56.48 [36.98–102.0] ms) in RMSSD. Thereafter at 4,600 and 5,140 m both 10 and 300 s RMSSD values were significantly lower than SL. From a total of 317 paired HRV measures the 10 and 300 s RMSSD measures were moderately correlated (Spearman r = 0.66; 95% CI: 0.59–0.72; p < 0.0001). The median difference (bias) in RMSSD values (300 s − 10 s) was −2.3 ms with a lower and upper limit of agreement of −107.5 and 88.61 ms, respectively with no differences with altitude. Overall, 293/317 (92.4%) of all paired HRV values fell within the 95% CI limits of agreement. Neither HRV method was predictive of AMS. Conclusion: Increasing HA affects ultra-short HRV in a similar manner to gold-standard 300 s. Ultra-short HRV has a moderate agreement with 300 s measurements. HRV did not predict AMS.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:high-altitude; heart rate variability; acute mountain sickness; oxygen saturation; acclimatisation
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:36923
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:09 May 2022 12:10
Last Modified:09 May 2022 12:10


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