autonomic cardiovascular regulation during exposure to high altitude may
increase the risk of heart attack during waking and sleep. This study compared
heart rate variability (HVR) and its components during sleep at low altitude
and after 30-41 hours of acclimatization at high
altitude (3480 m) in
five mountain marathon runners controlled for diet, drugs, light-dark cycle and
jet lag. In comparison to sea level, RR-intervals during sleep at high altitude
decreased significantly (P<0.001). The
significant increase in sympathetic autonomic cardiovascular modulation at high
altitude protects against excessive oxygen deprivation during sleep. Increases
in R-R intervals can require longer periods of acclimatization at3480 m to mitigate the effects of altitude/hypoxia on sympathetic tone, thus reducing
cardiovascular distress at rest during waking and sleep and probably before
during and after athletic performance at altitude.
Cite this paper
I. Gritti, S. Defendi, C. Mauri, G. Banfi, P. Duca and G. Roi, "Heart Rate Variability, Standard of Measurement, Physiological Interpretation and Clinical Use in Mountain Marathon Runners during Sleep and after Acclimatization at 3480 m," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 26-48. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.31004.
 Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and North America Society of Pacing Electrophysiology, “Heart Rate Variability, Standard of Measurement, Physiological Interpretation and Clinical Use,” European Heart Journal, Vol. 17, 1996, pp. 354-381.
 P. A. Lanfranchi, R. Colombo, G. Cremona, P. Baderna, L. Spagnolati, G. Mazzuero, P. Wagner, L. Perini, H. Wagner, C. Cavallaro and P. Giannuzzi, “Autonomic Cardiovascular Regulation in Subjects with Acute Mountain Sickness,” American Physiology Heart Circulation Physiology, Vol. 289, No. 6, 2005, pp. H2364-H2372.
 M. Ako, K. Tokuhiro, S. Uchida, S. Miyazaky, K. Nishihara, J. Mukai, K. Hirao J. Ako and Y. Okubo, “Correlation between Electrophysiography and Heart Rate Variability during Sleep,” Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Vol. 57, No. 1, 2003, pp. 59-65.
 G. Banfi, M. Marinelli, G. S. Roi, A. Colombini, M. Pontillo, M. Giacometti and S. Wade, “Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor I in Athletes Performing a Marathon at 4000 m of Altitude,” Growth Regulation, Vol. 4, 1994, pp. 82-86.
 M. Marinelli, G. S. Roi, M. Giacometti, P. Bonini and G. Banfi, “Cortisol, Testosterone and Free Testosterone in Athletes Performing a Marathon at 4000 m of Altitude,” Hormon Research, Vol. 41, No. 5-6, 1994, pp. 225-229.
 G. Banfi, M. Marinelli, G. S. Roi and M. Giacometti, “Platelet Indices in Athletes Performing a Race in Altitude Environment,” Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1995, pp. 34-36.
 G. Banfi, M. Marinelli, P. Bonini, I. Gritti and G. S. Roi, “Pepsinogens and Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Mountain Marathon Runners,” International Journal Sports Medicine, Vol. 17, No. 8, 1996, pp. 554-558.
 G. Banfi, M. Pontillo, M. Marinelli, A. Dolci and G. S. Roi, “Thyrotropin and Free Thyroid Hormones in Athletes during and after Ultra Endurance Sport Performances,” Journal Clinical of Ligand Assay, Vol. 21, No. 3, 1998, pp. 331-334.
 G. S. Roi, M. Giacometti and S. P. von Duvillard, “Marathons in Altitude,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Vol. 31, No. 5, 1999, pp. 723-728.
 G. Banfi and A. Dolci, “Preanalytical Phase of Sport Biochemistry and Haematology,” The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2003, pp. 223-230.
 G. Pelamatti, M. Pascotto and C. Semenza, “Verbal Free Recall in High Altitude: Proper Names vs Common Names,” Cortex, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2003, pp. 97-103.
 G. Fragasso, A. Palloshi, S. Roi, E. Rossetti, G. Monaco, A. Dolci, A. Margonato and S. Chierchia, “Transient Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction Following Strenuous Exercise,” Sport Science Health, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004, pp. 31-35. doi:10.1007/s11332-004-0007-7
 I. Gritti, M. Martignoni, R. Calcaterra and G. S. Roi, “Electroencephalographic Changes after a Marathon at 4300 m of Altitude,” Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2012, pp. 380-386.
 H. Otzenberger, C. Simon, C. Gronfier and G. Brandenberger, “Temporal Relationship between Dynamic Heart Rate Variability and Electroencephalographic Activity during Sleep in Man,” Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 229, No. 3, 1997, pp. 173-176.
 J. H. Coote, “Medicine and Mechanisms in Altitude Sickness. Recommendations,” Sports Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 3, 1995, pp. 148-159.
 M. A. Conney, R. W. van Arts, L. A. A. Kollée, J. C. W. Hopman, G. B. A. Stoelinga, P. Herman and H. P. van Geijn, “Heart Rate Variability,” Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 118, No. 6, 1993, pp. 436-447.
 A. Rechtschaffen and A. Kales, “A Manual of Standardized Terminology, Techniques and Scoring System for Sleep Stages of Human Subjects,” BIS/BRI UCLA, Los Angeles, 1968.
 F. R. Calaresu, A. A. Faiers and G. J. Mogenson, “Central Neuronal Regulation of the Heart and Blood Vessels in Mammals,” Progress Neurobiology, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1975, pp. 1-35. doi:10.1016/0301-0082(75)90006-4
 H. Scholz, “Adaptational Responses to Hypoxia,” American Journal of Physiology and Regulatory Integrative Comparative Physiology, Vol. 282, No. 6, 2002, pp. R1541-R1543.
 J. Cornolo, J. V. Brugniaux, J. L. Marcarlupu, C. Privat, F. Leon-Velarde and J. P. Richalet, “Autonomic Adaptations in Andean-Trained Participants to 4220 m Altitude. Marathon,” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 37, No. 12, 2005, pp. 2148-2153.
 D. M. Sacknoff, G. W. Gleim, N. Stachenfeld and N. L. Complan, “Effect of Athletic Training on Heart Variability,” American Heart Journal, Vol. 127, No. 5, 1994, pp. 1275-1278. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(94)90046-9
 L. Bernardi, C. Passino, G. Spadaccini, A. Calciati, R. Robergs, R. Green, E. Martignoni, I. Anand and O. Appenzeller, “Cardiovascular Autonomic Modulation and Activity of Carotid Baroreceptors at Altitude,” Clinical Science, Vol. 95, 1998, pp. 565-573.
 G. Vandewalle, B. Middleton, S. W. R. Rajaratnam, B. M. Stone, B. Thorleifsdottir, J. Aredent and D. J. Dijk, “Robust Circadian Rhythm in Heart Rate and Its Variability: Influence of Melatonin and Photoperiod,” Journal of Sleep Research, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2007, pp. 148-150.
 C. Murrell, L. Wilson, J. D. Cotter, S. Lucas, S. Ogoh, G. Keith and N. Ainslie, “Alteration in Autonomic Function and Cerebral Hemodynamics to Orthostatic Challenge Following a Mountain Marathon,” Journal Applied Physiology, Vol. 103, No. 1, 2007, pp. 88-96.
 S. Saito, K. Tanobe, M. Yamada and F. Nishihara, “Relationship between Arterial Oxygen Saturation and Heart Rate Variability at High Altitudes,” American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2005, pp. 8-12.