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Heart rate variability reduced in COPD

Processes that control heart rate play an important role in the quality of life experienced by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study1 published recently in Respirology.

Dr Arnoldus JR van Gestel (Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland) and his colleagues researched whether and to what extent patients’ heart rate variability (HRV) might impact their quality of life.  The investigators studied 60 patients with COPD, measuring their quality of life through a questionnaire and their heart rates through monitoring devices.

There was a significant correlation between patients with low quality of life scores and those with reduced HRV, emphasising the role of cardiac autonomic dysfunction on quality of life in patients with COPD, say the authors.

“Researchers have been trying to investigate the main causes of poor quality of life in COPD patients in order to improve their heath status,” said Dr van Gestel. “In this study, we found that the autonomic nervous system, which controls heart rate, plays an important role in the decrease in quality of life,” he added.

ElderlyReference

1 Van Gestel AJR, Kohler M, Steier J, Teschler S, Russi EW, Teschler H. Cardiac autonomic dysfunction and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respirology 2011;6:939–46.  doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.01992.x

Published on: November 3, 2011

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