Efficacy of Paced Breathing at the Low-frequency Peak on Heart Rate Variability and Baroreflex Sensitivity
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We developed a simple method for identifying resonance frequency by focusing on the spectral peak of the low-frequency (LF) component of heart rate variability (HRV) and examined the hypothesis that paced breathing at an accurate resonance frequency increases HRV and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). We assessed a peak frequency of the LF component of the resting HRV by using power spectral analysis under respiratory control at 0.25 Hz, and a resonance frequency, which was evaluated by using the standard breathing maneuver (Lehrer 2007). We examined the effects of paced breathing at the peak frequency of the LF component (Spectral condition) and paced breathing at the resonance frequency as determined by the standard breathing maneuver (Standard condition) on HRV and BRS in 28 healthy college students and young adults. Electrocardiogram, respiration, and noninvasive continuous blood pressure was recorded during a 5-min baseline, followed by a 5-min paced breathing session. Results indicated that the BRS increased during the breathing session under both conditions, but the increase in BRS under the Spectral condition was higher than the Standard condition (p < .05). The LF amplitude increased during the breathing session under both conditions (p < .001), although the difference between the conditions was not significant. These results suggest that paced breathing at the peak frequency of the LF component enhanced the autonomic baroreflex function. Moreover, assessment of the LF-peak may provide more accurate information on resonance frequency for paced breathing during HRV biofeedback.
KeywordsHeart rate variability Baroreflex sensitivity Paced breathing Autonomic function Biofeedback
This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 16K04395. The authors are grateful to Dr. Junichiro Hayano (Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences), and Professor Gregory L. Rohe (Aichi Gakuin University) for their assistance in editing this manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Aichi Gakuin University (No. 16-02). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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