Is cardiac autonomic function associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity in children and adolescents? A systematic review of cross-sectional studies
International Journal of Cardiology
Elsevier / International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Reason for embargo
BACKGROUND: Heart rate variability (HRV) is considered to explain improvements in cardiovascular health accrued by physical activity (PA) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) over and above traditional cardiovascular risk factors. OBJECTIVE: To systematically address associations between HRV, PA and CRF in children and adolescents. DATA SOURCES: Medline, EMBASE, SportDISCUS and CINAHL Plus were searched on 5th September 2015 and updated on 4th August 2016. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Observational studies comparing HRV in different groups of PA and CRF, and/or studies investigating associations between PA, CRF and HRV. Sports practices and PA intensities were also included. The square root of the mean of the sum of the squares of differences between adjacent RR intervals (RMSSD), the spectral density in the high (HF) and low (LF) frequency, and the LF/HF ratio were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the adapted Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). RESULTS: Heterogeneity exists in the assessment of the exposures and outcomes, and sample characteristics. Risk of bias (NOS) was observed in most of the studies. Studies with low risk of bias showed positive associations between moderate-to-vigorous PA and RMSSD. The evidence for the associations between PA and frequency indices is weak. Similarly, the evidence for the association between CRF and HRV is weak. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the heterogeneity in the studies, moderate-to-vigorous PA is positively associated with RMSSD, but less clear are the associations between CRF and HRV, as well as other PA intensities. Further research is needed to clarify the role of PA and CRF on HRV in children and adolescents.
This research has been funded by Science Without Borders, CAPES, Brazil, under the process number: 10423-13-3. The funding agency had no role on the design and conduction of the present review
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Published online 10 February 2017
Place of publication