This study examined the normal ranges and the determinants for various parameters of the short-term heart rate variability (HRV) measurements in a large Korean sample of healthy people. HRV measurements were obtained in 2,748 healthy men and 735 healthy women 18-65 yr of age. The mean total power (TP), low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and LF/HF ratio were 1,358.9 ± 1,840.8 ms(2), 417.3 ± 807.6 ms(2), 254.1 ± 414.1 ms(2), and 2.4 ± 20.9 ms(2) in the frequency-domain spectral analysis. The mean standard deviation of the normal-to-normal (NN) interval (SDNN) and the square root of the mean squared differences of successive NN intervals (RMSSD) were 39.6 ± 22.1 ms and 29.7 ± 18.1 ms in the time-domain analysis. The female subjects had significantly higher SDNN, RMSSD, and HF values than the male subjects. After controlling for age, there was no statistically significant difference in the SDNN. Quantile regression analysis showed that age and mean heart rate had a significant impact on short-term HRV measurement. Given that both clinicians and researchers are increasingly relying on short-term HRV assessment in measuring stress, our work suggests that age and gender should be considered as independent determinants for HRV.
Keywords: Age; Autonomic Nervous System; Gender; Heart Rate Variability; Psychophysiology.