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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 November;55(11):1390-6


language: English

Short-term heart rate variability in asthmatic obese children: effect of exhaustive exercise and different humidity conditions

Rezvan K. 1, Dabidi Roshan V. 1, Mahmudi S. A. 2

1 Department of Sport Physiology, College of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran; 2 Department of Sports Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Science (MUMS), Sari, Iran


AIM: Asthmatic obese children experience changes in functional capacity and autonomic control. Previous heart rate variability (HRV) studies were based on 24-hour recordings, little research has been conducted on the short-term HRV in asthmatic obese children, primarily during physical effort indifferent environmental humidity conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of aerobic activity on short-term HRV in asthmatic obese children under two different environmental humidity conditions.
METHODS: Ten obese boys with mild asthma as experimental group and 15 obese healthy boys with the same conditions were involved as a control group. Protocol included progressive and exhaustive aerobic activities on a calibrated ergometer pedal bicycle in two various environmental humidity 35±5% and 65±5%. HRV was measured by PADSY MEDSET Holter monitoring device during three phases; pre-test, mid-test and post-test. Then, short-term HRV was assessed from calculation of the mean R-R interval measured on HRV at each phases.
RESULTS: HRV significantly decreased at mid-test and post-test among asthmatic and health children. However, the aforesaid changes were significantly higher in the asthmatic than health children following. Moreover, decrease of short-term HRV was significantly greater in the 35±5% than 65±5% environmental humidity.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest from the autonomic standpoint, asthmatic and non-asthmatic children respond differently to exhaustive exercise induced stress. Aerobic exercise at an environment with high humidity compared with the low humidity appears to have additional benefits on short-term HRV in that it enhances the parasympathetic and autonomic modulation of the heart in asthmatic obese children.

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