CLINICS

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2014 December; 69(12): 823-827.
doi:10.6061/clinics/2014(12)06

Copyright © 2014 Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP

The assessment of cardiac autonomic functions in adolescents with a family history of premature atherosclerosis

Huseyin Dursun I , Baris Kilicaslan II , Mehmet Aydin II

Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Cardiology, Izmir, Turkey.

Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Department of Cardiology, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey.

E-mail: drhuseyindursun@gmail.com Tel.: 90 505 7192150

received July 31, 2014; revised September 12, 2014; accepted September 12, 2014.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Subclinical atherosclerosis has been recently detected in adolescents with a family history of premature atherosclerosis. However, no studies in the literature have assessed the cardiac autonomic functions of these adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiac autonomic functions of adolescents with a family history of premature atherosclerosis compared with those of age- and gender-matched adolescents without a family history of atherosclerosis.

METHOD:

We evaluated the cardiac autonomic functions of 36 adolescents with a family history of premature atherosclerosis (Group 1) and compared them with those of 31 age- and gender-matched adolescents whose parents did not have premature atherosclerosis (Group 2). Twenty-four-hour time domain (standard deviation of all normal sinus RR intervals [SDNN], standard deviation of the mean of normal RR intervals in each 5-minute segment [SDANN], root-mean-square differences in successive RR intervals) and frequency domain (very low frequency, low frequency, high frequency, low frequency/high frequency) parameters of heart rate variability were used for the evaluation of cardiac autonomic functions.

RESULTS:

There were no differences in the time and frequency domain parameters of heart rate variability between the two groups. Heart rate was negatively correlated with SDNN (r = -0.278, p = 0.035), while age was significantly correlated with root-mean-square differences in successive RR intervals, high frequency, low frequency and low frequency/high frequency (r = -0.264, -0.370, 0.265 and 0.374, respectively; p<0.05 for all).

CONCLUSION:

We found that the cardiac autonomic functions of adolescents with a family history of premature atherosclerosis were not different compared with those of adolescents without a positive family history of premature atherosclerosis. It appears that subclinical atherosclerosis does not reach a critical value such that it can alter cardiac autonomic functions in adolescence.

Keywords: Autonomic Dysfunction, Adolescent, Atherosclerosis


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