Epidemiological evidence of altered cardiac autonomic function in overweight but not underweight subjects

J. S. Wu, F. H. Lu, Y. C. Yang, T. S. Lin, Y. H. Huang, C. H. Wu, J. J. Chen, C. J. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the altered cardiac autonomic function (CAF) across different levels of body mass index (BMI), including underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. This study provides a thorough analysis to clarify the CAF change in subjects with underweight, overweight and obesity. Methods: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Asia-Pacific BMI cutoffs, a total of 1437 participants were classified as underweight (n=74), normal weight (n=588), overweight (n=313), obesity I (n=390) and obesity II (n=72). CAF was determined by standard deviation of normal-to-normal (SDNN) intervals or RR intervals, power spectrum in low (LF) and high frequency (HF) (LF, 0.04-0.15 Hz; HF, 0.15-0.40 Hz), and LF/HF ratio at supine for 5 min, the ratio between the 30th and the 15th RR interval after standing from the supine position (30/15 ratio) and the average heart-rate change while taking six deep breaths in 1 min (HRDB). Results: There were significant differences in age, gender, socioeconomic status, blood pressure, HOMA insulin resistance index, fasting glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-C, and the prevalence of hypertension, ischemic/left bundle branch block (LBBB) electrocardiography (EKG) pattern, current smoking and alcohol use among subjects with underweight, normal weight, overweight, obesity I and II. Univariate analysis showed that SDNN, HRDB, HF power and the square root of the LF/HF ratio differed among these five groups. Multivariate analysis showed that obesity I and II were inverse correlates of HRDB and HF power. Overweight, obesity I and II were positively associated with the square root of the LF/HF ratio. No BMI status was related to SDNN, 30/15 ratio or LF power. Underweight was not the independent correlate of any CAF indices. Conclusions: The risk for altered CAF is significant in overweight and obese subjects, independent of cardiovascular risk factors. Underweight is not apparently associated with CAF change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-794
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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