Altered Cardiac Autonomic Function May Precede Insulin Resistance in Metabolic Syndrome

Chih Jen Chang, Yi Ching Yang, Feng Hwa Lu, Thy Sheng Lin, Jia Jin Chen, Tzung Lieh Yeh, Chih Hsing Wu, Jin Shang Wu

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies on the change of cardiac autonomic function and insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome recruited subjects with cardiovascular-related disease and defined metabolic abnormality with a more severe cutoff. We explored the alteration of cardiac autonomic function and insulin resistance in predisease community dwellers with different numbers of metabolic abnormalities. Methods: A total of 1298 subjects were classified as none (n = 539), one (n = 378), 2 (n = 218), and 3 or more metabolic abnormalities (n = 154). Insulin resistance was calculated by homeostatic model assessment. Cardiac autonomic function included 5-minute standard deviation of R-R interval, low- and high-frequency power spectrum, and low-/high-frequency power spectrum ratio, the ratio of the longest R-R interval around the 30th beat and the shortest R-R interval around the 15th beat after standing, and the ratio of the longest expiratory R-R interval to the shortest inspiratory R-R interval during deep breathing. Results: Subjects with a single metabolic abnormality or more had a lower standard deviation of R-R interval and expiratory/inspiratory ratio than subjects without metabolic abnormality in multivariate analysis. Subjects with 3 or more metabolic abnormalities had a higher low-/high-frequency power spectrum ratio, but a lower high-frequency power. Insulin resistance was higher in groups with 2 metabolic abnormalities or more, but not in the group with one metabolic abnormality, than those without metabolic abnormality. Conclusions: Cardiac autonomic function altered in predisease subjects with one or more metabolic abnormalities, while insulin resistance existed in subjects with 2 or more metabolic abnormalities. Thus, autonomic function change may precede insulin resistance in the initiation of metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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