Heart rate variability related to season of birth: A replication study

Tabitha A. Iseger, Madelon A. Vollebregt, Noralie Krepel, Martijn Arns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Low heart rate variability (HRV) has strongly been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. With cardiovascular disease being the number one cause of global deaths, factors that influence its development are relevant to understand. Season of birth has been suggested as one of the factors influencing the development of HRV. The current study was set up to replicate the finding that men born in winter have higher HRV later in life compared to those born in other seasons. To this end, we studied a sample of 1,871 healthy participants from the Brain Resource International Database during rest and during task. Furthermore, sex and age differences and associations with personality traits and psychiatric symptoms were explored. We replicated the earlier finding that men born in winter have a lower ratio of low frequency (LF) power to high frequency (HF) power during rest compared to summer and fall, and, although less pronounced, higher HF compared to summer. A difference between summer and winter for LF/HF in men was internally replicated using data recorded during task. Additionally, for both sexes, LF/HF ratio increased with age, and LF and HF both decreased. In general, LF/HF was lower in women, but heart rate was higher. In men, low HRV was associated with depression and the personality trait openness. In conclusion, results from a large multicenter data set covering the entire lifespan demonstrate that HRV changes with age in both sexes and confirm that season of birth influences HRV later in life in men.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13419
Number of pages11
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume56
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • aging
  • heart rate variability
  • season of birth
  • sex differences
  • CARDIAC AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS
  • MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER
  • VITAMIN-D
  • EMOTION REGULATION
  • GENDER
  • ASSOCIATION
  • NETHERLANDS
  • RELIABILITY
  • MORTALITY
  • CHILDREN

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