Vagal modulation of heart rate during exercise

Effects of age and physical fitness

M. Tulppo, T. Mäkikallio, Tapio Seppänen, R. Laukkanen, H. Huikuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

295 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was designed to assess the effects of age and physical fitness on vagal modulation of heart rate (HR) during exercise by analyzing the instantaneous R-R interval variability from Poincaré plots (SD1) at rest and at different phases of a bicycle exercise test in a population of healthy males. SD1 normalized for the average R-R interval (SD1n), a measure of vagal activity, was compared at rest and during exercise among subjects of ages 24–34 (young,n = 25), 35–46 (middle-aged,n = 30), and 47–64 yr (old,n = 25) matched for peak O2 consumption (V˙o2 peak) and among subjects withV˙o2 peak of 28–37 (poor, n = 25), 38–45 (average,n = 36), and 46–60 ml ⋅ kg−1 ⋅ min−1(good, n = 25) matched for age. SD1n was higher at rest in the young subjects than in the middle-aged or old subjects (39 ± 14, 27 ± 16, and 21 ± 8, respectively;P < 0.001), but the age-related differences in SD1n were smaller during exercise [e.g., 11 ± 5, 9 ± 5, and 8 ± 4 at the level of 100 W; P = not significant (NS)]. The age-matched subjects with good, average, and poor V˙o2 peakshowed no difference in SD1n at rest (32 ± 17, 28 ± 13, and 26 ± 11, respectively; P = NS), but SD1n differed significantly among the groups from a low to a moderate exercise intensity level (e.g., 13 ± 6, 10 ± 5, and 6 ± 3 for good, average, and poor fitness groups, respectively; P < 0.001, 100 W). These data show that poor physical fitness is associated with an impairment of cardiac vagal function during exercise, whereas aging itself results in more evident impairment of vagal function at rest. measurement of heart rate (HR) variability has become a widely used tool for assessing the autonomic input to the heart under various physiological conditions (4-7, 15, 18). Previous research has suggested that autonomic modulation of HR is influenced by certain physiological factors such as aging and physical fitness. Studies of HR variability have demonstrated a decline in the vagal modulation of HR at rest at an advanced age (15, 18, 25), but there is little evidence regarding the extent to which these age-associated changes depend on the simultaneous decline in aerobic capacity. Although HR variability has been commonly observed to be related to physical fitness (5-7,13), there is also some controversy regarding this issue (4, 14). In previous studies HR variability has been measured in standardized supine or upright positions or during routine daily activities, but because the cardiovascular system at rest or in different postures functions at only a fraction of its capacity, results obtained at rest may not completely characterize this system or its regulatory mechanisms. Relatively little information is available on the effects of physiological factors on cardiovascular autonomic function during exercise. Experimental studies (1, 19, 23) have shown that vagal control of HR plays an important cardioprotective role during exercise. Therefore, it would be important to know whether certain physiological factors have influence on cardiac vagal function during the course of physical exercise. The present cross-sectional study was designed to examine the association of aerobic fitness and aging on vagal modulation of HR during exercise in a random population of healthy males.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H424-H429
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume274
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

Physical Fitness
Heart Rate
Cardiovascular System
Posture
Exercise Test
Population
Cross-Sectional Studies
Exercise

Cite this

Tulppo, M. ; Mäkikallio, T. ; Seppänen, Tapio ; Laukkanen, R. ; Huikuri, H. / Vagal modulation of heart rate during exercise : Effects of age and physical fitness. In: American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 1998 ; Vol. 274, No. 2. pp. H424-H429.
@article{bfd54424b17e4e92b99d740b9c64deb5,
title = "Vagal modulation of heart rate during exercise: Effects of age and physical fitness",
abstract = "This study was designed to assess the effects of age and physical fitness on vagal modulation of heart rate (HR) during exercise by analyzing the instantaneous R-R interval variability from Poincar{\'e} plots (SD1) at rest and at different phases of a bicycle exercise test in a population of healthy males. SD1 normalized for the average R-R interval (SD1n), a measure of vagal activity, was compared at rest and during exercise among subjects of ages 24–34 (young,n = 25), 35–46 (middle-aged,n = 30), and 47–64 yr (old,n = 25) matched for peak O2 consumption (V˙o2 peak) and among subjects withV˙o2 peak of 28–37 (poor, n = 25), 38–45 (average,n = 36), and 46–60 ml ⋅ kg−1 ⋅ min−1(good, n = 25) matched for age. SD1n was higher at rest in the young subjects than in the middle-aged or old subjects (39 ± 14, 27 ± 16, and 21 ± 8, respectively;P < 0.001), but the age-related differences in SD1n were smaller during exercise [e.g., 11 ± 5, 9 ± 5, and 8 ± 4 at the level of 100 W; P = not significant (NS)]. The age-matched subjects with good, average, and poor V˙o2 peakshowed no difference in SD1n at rest (32 ± 17, 28 ± 13, and 26 ± 11, respectively; P = NS), but SD1n differed significantly among the groups from a low to a moderate exercise intensity level (e.g., 13 ± 6, 10 ± 5, and 6 ± 3 for good, average, and poor fitness groups, respectively; P < 0.001, 100 W). These data show that poor physical fitness is associated with an impairment of cardiac vagal function during exercise, whereas aging itself results in more evident impairment of vagal function at rest. measurement of heart rate (HR) variability has become a widely used tool for assessing the autonomic input to the heart under various physiological conditions (4-7, 15, 18). Previous research has suggested that autonomic modulation of HR is influenced by certain physiological factors such as aging and physical fitness. Studies of HR variability have demonstrated a decline in the vagal modulation of HR at rest at an advanced age (15, 18, 25), but there is little evidence regarding the extent to which these age-associated changes depend on the simultaneous decline in aerobic capacity. Although HR variability has been commonly observed to be related to physical fitness (5-7,13), there is also some controversy regarding this issue (4, 14). In previous studies HR variability has been measured in standardized supine or upright positions or during routine daily activities, but because the cardiovascular system at rest or in different postures functions at only a fraction of its capacity, results obtained at rest may not completely characterize this system or its regulatory mechanisms. Relatively little information is available on the effects of physiological factors on cardiovascular autonomic function during exercise. Experimental studies (1, 19, 23) have shown that vagal control of HR plays an important cardioprotective role during exercise. Therefore, it would be important to know whether certain physiological factors have influence on cardiac vagal function during the course of physical exercise. The present cross-sectional study was designed to examine the association of aerobic fitness and aging on vagal modulation of HR during exercise in a random population of healthy males.",
author = "M. Tulppo and T. M{\"a}kikallio and Tapio Sepp{\"a}nen and R. Laukkanen and H. Huikuri",
year = "1998",
doi = "10.1152/ajpheart.1998.274.2.H424",
language = "English",
volume = "274",
pages = "H424--H429",
journal = "American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology",
issn = "0363-6135",
publisher = "American Physiological Society",
number = "2",

}

Vagal modulation of heart rate during exercise : Effects of age and physical fitness. / Tulppo, M.; Mäkikallio, T.; Seppänen, Tapio; Laukkanen, R.; Huikuri, H.

In: American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Vol. 274, No. 2, 1998, p. H424-H429.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Vagal modulation of heart rate during exercise

T2 - Effects of age and physical fitness

AU - Tulppo, M.

AU - Mäkikallio, T.

AU - Seppänen, Tapio

AU - Laukkanen, R.

AU - Huikuri, H.

PY - 1998

Y1 - 1998

N2 - This study was designed to assess the effects of age and physical fitness on vagal modulation of heart rate (HR) during exercise by analyzing the instantaneous R-R interval variability from Poincaré plots (SD1) at rest and at different phases of a bicycle exercise test in a population of healthy males. SD1 normalized for the average R-R interval (SD1n), a measure of vagal activity, was compared at rest and during exercise among subjects of ages 24–34 (young,n = 25), 35–46 (middle-aged,n = 30), and 47–64 yr (old,n = 25) matched for peak O2 consumption (V˙o2 peak) and among subjects withV˙o2 peak of 28–37 (poor, n = 25), 38–45 (average,n = 36), and 46–60 ml ⋅ kg−1 ⋅ min−1(good, n = 25) matched for age. SD1n was higher at rest in the young subjects than in the middle-aged or old subjects (39 ± 14, 27 ± 16, and 21 ± 8, respectively;P < 0.001), but the age-related differences in SD1n were smaller during exercise [e.g., 11 ± 5, 9 ± 5, and 8 ± 4 at the level of 100 W; P = not significant (NS)]. The age-matched subjects with good, average, and poor V˙o2 peakshowed no difference in SD1n at rest (32 ± 17, 28 ± 13, and 26 ± 11, respectively; P = NS), but SD1n differed significantly among the groups from a low to a moderate exercise intensity level (e.g., 13 ± 6, 10 ± 5, and 6 ± 3 for good, average, and poor fitness groups, respectively; P < 0.001, 100 W). These data show that poor physical fitness is associated with an impairment of cardiac vagal function during exercise, whereas aging itself results in more evident impairment of vagal function at rest. measurement of heart rate (HR) variability has become a widely used tool for assessing the autonomic input to the heart under various physiological conditions (4-7, 15, 18). Previous research has suggested that autonomic modulation of HR is influenced by certain physiological factors such as aging and physical fitness. Studies of HR variability have demonstrated a decline in the vagal modulation of HR at rest at an advanced age (15, 18, 25), but there is little evidence regarding the extent to which these age-associated changes depend on the simultaneous decline in aerobic capacity. Although HR variability has been commonly observed to be related to physical fitness (5-7,13), there is also some controversy regarding this issue (4, 14). In previous studies HR variability has been measured in standardized supine or upright positions or during routine daily activities, but because the cardiovascular system at rest or in different postures functions at only a fraction of its capacity, results obtained at rest may not completely characterize this system or its regulatory mechanisms. Relatively little information is available on the effects of physiological factors on cardiovascular autonomic function during exercise. Experimental studies (1, 19, 23) have shown that vagal control of HR plays an important cardioprotective role during exercise. Therefore, it would be important to know whether certain physiological factors have influence on cardiac vagal function during the course of physical exercise. The present cross-sectional study was designed to examine the association of aerobic fitness and aging on vagal modulation of HR during exercise in a random population of healthy males.

AB - This study was designed to assess the effects of age and physical fitness on vagal modulation of heart rate (HR) during exercise by analyzing the instantaneous R-R interval variability from Poincaré plots (SD1) at rest and at different phases of a bicycle exercise test in a population of healthy males. SD1 normalized for the average R-R interval (SD1n), a measure of vagal activity, was compared at rest and during exercise among subjects of ages 24–34 (young,n = 25), 35–46 (middle-aged,n = 30), and 47–64 yr (old,n = 25) matched for peak O2 consumption (V˙o2 peak) and among subjects withV˙o2 peak of 28–37 (poor, n = 25), 38–45 (average,n = 36), and 46–60 ml ⋅ kg−1 ⋅ min−1(good, n = 25) matched for age. SD1n was higher at rest in the young subjects than in the middle-aged or old subjects (39 ± 14, 27 ± 16, and 21 ± 8, respectively;P < 0.001), but the age-related differences in SD1n were smaller during exercise [e.g., 11 ± 5, 9 ± 5, and 8 ± 4 at the level of 100 W; P = not significant (NS)]. The age-matched subjects with good, average, and poor V˙o2 peakshowed no difference in SD1n at rest (32 ± 17, 28 ± 13, and 26 ± 11, respectively; P = NS), but SD1n differed significantly among the groups from a low to a moderate exercise intensity level (e.g., 13 ± 6, 10 ± 5, and 6 ± 3 for good, average, and poor fitness groups, respectively; P < 0.001, 100 W). These data show that poor physical fitness is associated with an impairment of cardiac vagal function during exercise, whereas aging itself results in more evident impairment of vagal function at rest. measurement of heart rate (HR) variability has become a widely used tool for assessing the autonomic input to the heart under various physiological conditions (4-7, 15, 18). Previous research has suggested that autonomic modulation of HR is influenced by certain physiological factors such as aging and physical fitness. Studies of HR variability have demonstrated a decline in the vagal modulation of HR at rest at an advanced age (15, 18, 25), but there is little evidence regarding the extent to which these age-associated changes depend on the simultaneous decline in aerobic capacity. Although HR variability has been commonly observed to be related to physical fitness (5-7,13), there is also some controversy regarding this issue (4, 14). In previous studies HR variability has been measured in standardized supine or upright positions or during routine daily activities, but because the cardiovascular system at rest or in different postures functions at only a fraction of its capacity, results obtained at rest may not completely characterize this system or its regulatory mechanisms. Relatively little information is available on the effects of physiological factors on cardiovascular autonomic function during exercise. Experimental studies (1, 19, 23) have shown that vagal control of HR plays an important cardioprotective role during exercise. Therefore, it would be important to know whether certain physiological factors have influence on cardiac vagal function during the course of physical exercise. The present cross-sectional study was designed to examine the association of aerobic fitness and aging on vagal modulation of HR during exercise in a random population of healthy males.

U2 - 10.1152/ajpheart.1998.274.2.H424

DO - 10.1152/ajpheart.1998.274.2.H424

M3 - Article

VL - 274

SP - H424-H429

JO - American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology

JF - American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology

SN - 0363-6135

IS - 2

ER -