Heart rate variability and cardiovascular mortality
- Cite this article as:
- Villareal, R.P., Liu, B.C. & Massumi, A. Curr Atheroscler Rep (2002) 4: 120. doi:10.1007/s11883-002-0035-1
The autonomic nervous system plays a major role in affecting the cardiac milieu and promoting malignant ventricular activity. The measurement of heart rate variability (HRV) is a noninvasive tool for assessing the status of the autonomic nervous system. A depressed HRV among post-myocardial infarction patients is a well-established risk factor for arrhythmic death. A reduced HRV has also been used to identify diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy. This paper presents recent developments in the use of HRV, focusing on further refinement and validation of the use of both linear and nonlinear dynamics for sudden death prognostication, evaluation of the effect of specific pharmacologic agents on HRV, and assessment of HRV in health and in specific disease states that have been associated with an increased mortality risk.