Aims Cyclic variation of heart rate (CVHR) associated with sleep-disordered breathing is thought to reflect cardiac autonomic responses to apnoeic/hypoxic stress.We examined whether blunted CVHR observed in ambulatory ECG could predict the mortality risk. Methods and results CVHR in night-time Holter ECG was detected by an automated algorithm, and the prognostic relationships of the frequency (FCV) and amplitude (ACV) of CVHR were examined in 717 patients after myocardial infarction (post-MI 1, 6% mortality, median follow-up 25 months). The predictive power was prospectively validated in three independent cohorts: a second group of 220 post-MI patients (post-MI 2, 25.5% mortality, follow-up 45 months); 299 patients with endstage renal disease on chronic haemodialysis (ESRD, 28.1% mortality, follow-up 85 months); and 100 patients with chronic heart failure (CHF, 35% mortality, follow-up 38 months). Although CVHR was observed in ≥96% of the patients in all cohorts, FCV did not predict mortality in any cohort. In contrast, decreased ACV was a powerful predictor of mortality in the post-MI 1 cohort (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1 ln [ms] decrement, 2.9 [2.2-3.7], P < 0.001). This prognostic relationship was validated in the post-MI 2 (1.8 [1.4-2.2], P < 0.001), ESRD (1.5 [1.3-1.8], P < 0.001), and CHF (1.4 [1.1-1.8], P = 0.02) cohorts. The prognostic value of ACV was independent of age, gender, diabetes, b-blocker therapy, left ventricular ejection fraction, sleep-time mean R-R interval, and FCV. Conclusion Blunted CVHR detected by decreased ACV in a night-time Holter ECG predicts increased mortality risk in post-MI, ESRD, and CHF patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)