The role of wearable sensors and wireless technologies for the assessment of heart rate variability in anorexia nervosa

  • Lucia Billeci
  • Gennaro Tartarisco
  • Elena Brunori
  • Giulia Crifaci
  • Silvia Scardigli
  • Rita Balocchi
  • Giovanni Pioggia
  • Sandra Maestro
  • Maria Aurora Morales
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s40519-014-0135-2

Cite this article as:
Billeci, L., Tartarisco, G., Brunori, E. et al. Eat Weight Disord (2015) 20: 23. doi:10.1007/s40519-014-0135-2

Abstract

Purpose

Bradycardia and abnormal cardiac autonomic function are related to increased mortality in anorexia nervosa (AN). The aim of this study was to assess heart rate (HR) and HR variability of young adolescents with AN as compared to controls by means of wearable sensors and wireless technologies.

Method

The ECG signal was recorded in 27 AN girls and 15 healthy girls at rest using a wearable chest strap. The tachogram, the mean intervals between R peaks (meanRR), the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), the power of low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) bands and the LF/HF ratio were assessed.

Results

All AN girls showed a reduced HR and an increased meanRR and RMSSD. An HF increase, a LF decrease, and a LF/HF reduction indicated a prevalence of the parasympathetic on sympathetic activity.

Conclusions

The instruments used in this pilot study were feasible, unobtrusive and extremely suitable in AN subjects who are burdened by high incidence of cardiovascular mortality; their application could open to new approaches of vital signs monitoring in hospitals as well as in home settings.

Keywords

Eating disorders Cardiac complications Heart rate variability Monitoring 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucia Billeci
    • 1
  • Gennaro Tartarisco
    • 2
  • Elena Brunori
    • 3
  • Giulia Crifaci
    • 2
  • Silvia Scardigli
    • 3
  • Rita Balocchi
    • 1
  • Giovanni Pioggia
    • 2
  • Sandra Maestro
    • 3
  • Maria Aurora Morales
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Clinical PhysiologyNational Research Council of Italy (CNR)PisaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical PhysiologyNational Research Council of Italy (CNR)MessinaItaly
  3. 3.IRCCS Stella Maris Scientific FoundationPisaItaly

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