Andrew-ME; Li-S; Wactawski-Wende-J; Dorn-JP; Mnatsakanova-A; Charles-LE; Fekedulegn-D; Miller-DB; Violanti-JM; Burchfiel-CM; Sharp-DS
Am J Hum Biol 2013 May-Jun; 25(3):370-377
OBJECTIVES: This study examines cross-sectional associations of indices of adiposity, lean body mass, and physical activity, with heart rate variability (HRV), a marker for parasympathetic cardiac vagal control. METHODS: The study population consists of 360 officers from the Buffalo New York Police Department. Indices of adiposity include body mass index, waist circumference, and a fat-mass index taken from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) measurements. Lean body mass indices were derived from DEXA measurements of trunk mass and extremity lean mass. Physical activity was measured using a 7-day self-report questionnaire. HRV was obtained from 5-min electrocardiogram measurements by means of parametric spectral analysis resulting in estimates for high-frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) HRV. RESULTS: Both HF and LF HRV were significantly associated with markers for adiposity, two components of lean mass and physical activity with all associations being in the expected direction except that for trunk lean mass. This unexpected result is explained by the possibility that trunk mass is a marker for visceral adiposity rather than lean mass. Body mass index did not explain any additional variance in HRV above and beyond waist circumference and the DEXA indices. CONCLUSIONS: Higher levels of physical activity, lower levels of markers for central adiposity and higher lean mass in the extremities predict higher levels of HRV in this population of police officers. This association between modifiable risk factors and markers for autonomic function suggest possible interventions that may improve health and performance.
Adipose-tissue; Body-weight; Physical-fitness; Heart-rate; Humans; Men; Women; Questionnaires; Electrocardiography; Police-officers; Emergency-responders
Michael E. Andrew, Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road MS4020, Morgantown, WV 26505
American Journal of Human Biology