Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 149–156

Heart rate variability in preterm infants and maternal smoking during pregnancy

  • Gérard Thiriez
  • Malika Bouhaddi
  • Laurent Mourot
  • François Nobili
  • Jacques-Olivier Fortrat
  • Alain Menget
  • Patricia Franco
  • Jacques Regnard
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10286-009-0003-8

Cite this article as:
Thiriez, G., Bouhaddi, M., Mourot, L. et al. Clin Auton Res (2009) 19: 149. doi:10.1007/s10286-009-0003-8

Abstract

Objective

Tobacco smoke exposure increases the risk of premature birth and of dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Prematurity significantly increases the risk of dying of SIDS, but mechanisms underlying this epidemiological finding are unclear. The cumulated effect of both prematurity and prenatal exposure to nicotine on autonomic heart rate control has not been studied.

Methods

Using coarse-graining spectral analysis, we compared heart rate variability (HRV) indices of preterm newborns at 33–34 weeks post-conceptional age from smoking (n = 19) and non-smoking (n = 21) mothers. Assessment of tobacco exposure relied on maternal reports and newborns cotinine analysis. We observed how indicators of HRV depended on gestational age at birth.

Results

At 33–34 weeks postconceptional age, the newborns from smoking mothers had lower HRV low frequency power normalised to the total spectral power (LF/TP) than the control group (median values: 8% vs. 15% respectively, p < 0.02). In the non-smoking group, RR-interval values and total HRV power were correlated with gestational age at birth, with a shorter RR and a lower total HRV power in lesser gestational ages (ρ = 0.67, p = 0.03, ρ = 0.71, p = 0.003 respectively). This correlation was not observed for RR values in the group with smoking mothers.

Keywords

Cigarette smoking Premature infant Heart rate variability Autonomic nervous system Sudden infant death syndrome 

Abbreviations

GA

Gestational age at birth

PCA

Postconceptional age

HRV

Heart rate variability

LF

Low frequency band of HRV (0–0.2 Hz)

HF

High frequency band of HRV (0.2–2 Hz)

TP

Total spectral power of HRV

HF/TP

HF power normalised to the total spectral power

LF/TP

LF power normalised to the total spectral power

SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gérard Thiriez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Malika Bouhaddi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Laurent Mourot
    • 2
    • 3
  • François Nobili
    • 1
  • Jacques-Olivier Fortrat
    • 4
  • Alain Menget
    • 1
  • Patricia Franco
    • 5
  • Jacques Regnard
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Pédiatrie-NéonatologieCentre Hospitalier UniversitaireBesançonFrance
  2. 2.UPRES EA 3920, IFR 133Université de Franche ComtéBesançonFrance
  3. 3.Explorations Fonctionnelles-PhysiologieCentre Hospitalier UniversitaireBesançonFrance
  4. 4.UMR CNRS 6214 Inserm 771 Faculté de MédecineAngersFrance
  5. 5.Unité du sommeil pédiatriqueHôpital Femme Mère Enfant and INSERM U628, Université de Lyon-1LyonFrance
  6. 6.Service de réanimation pédiatriqueHôpital Saint-JacquesBesançonFrance