Comparison of cardiac vagal activity between pre and postmenopausal women using heart rate recovery


  • I. Vijayalakshmi Department of Physiology, Vinayaka Mission Medical College, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India
  • K. C. Subha
  • R. Niruba



Heart rate recovery, Premenopausal women, Postmenopausal women


Background: Ageing is associated with an increase in Heart Rate Recovery (HRR). HRR is a property of vagal activity. But there is little evidence regarding the extent to which age-related changes in HRR depend on simultaneous transition from pre-menopausal state to postmenopausal state. The purpose of this study was (i) to compare HRR between pre and postmenopausal women, (ii) to compare heart rate recovery between men of age group 40-45 years and 45-50years respectively (iii) and to determine whether difference in age, gender and body composition could account for the difference in HRR between pre- and post-menopausal groups.

Methods: HRR was assessed using modified Bruce exercise protocol. The body mass index was assessed by measuring weight and height of the subject. Data was analyzed after adjusting for age and body composition.

Results: It was found that the HRR were significantly higher (P <0.001) in postmenopausal women compared to that of premenopausal women. Analysis after adjusting for age and gender revealed that men of same age group didn’t undergo much change in HRR as compared to women.  

Conclusions: The study concludes that both ageing and declined oestrogen levels are associated with the increased Hear Rate Recovery (HRR) seen among postmenopausal women.


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