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Clinical Trial
. 2016 Nov 23;13(11):1171.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph13111171.

An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)

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Free PMC article
Clinical Trial

An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)

Qiang Fang et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind conditions. The root mean square (RMS) value of the recorded data was considered as comparison criteria. We also measured and analysed four important ECG time intervals before and after ELF-PEMF exposure. Results revealed that the RMS value of the ECG recordings from 18 participants (81.8% of the total participants) increased with a mean value of 3.72%. The increase in ECG voltage levels was then verified by a second experimental protocol with a control exposure. In addition to this, we used hyperbolic T-distributions (HTD) in the analysis of ECG signals to verify the change in the RR interval. It was found that there were small shifts in the frequency-domain signal before and after EMF exposure. This shift has an influence on all frequency components of the ECG signals, as all spectrums were shifted. It is shown from this investigation that a short time exposure to ELF-PEMF can affect the properties of ECG signals. Further study is needed to consolidate this finding and discover more on the biological effects of ELF-PEMF on human physiological processes.

Keywords: electrocardiograms (ECGs); extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF); time frequency analysis.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The founding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Exposure setup. The subject lies on their back on the mat with chest over Coil 1 (2.33 μT), waist over Coil 2 (5.235 μT), and legs over Coil 3 (6.45 μT).
Figure 2
Figure 2
The absolute difference in duration for PR, RT, QT, and RR intervals of ECG before and after ELF-PEMF exposure.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Hyperbolic T-distribution of the electrocardiogram (ECG) signal for participant-5 (with α = 0.05, sampling frequency = 50 samples/s, and signal length = 750 samples).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Frequency components of the ECG signal for participant-5 at the time instants t = 10 s.

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