Heart Rate Variability is Associated with Memory in Females
Research into the association between heart rate variability (HRV) and cognitive function is scarce, particularly with regard to gender differences. HRV in 182 healthy volunteers was assessed by the root mean square of the successive difference (RMSSD) and spectrum analysis, while the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) was used to determine memory function. Robust and significant associations were found to exist between HRV (RMSSD and high-frequency HRV) and domains of the WMS-R in females. Caution should therefore be taken to control for gender when conducting studies on the relationships between HRV and cognitive variables.
KeywordsHeart rate variability (HRV) Memory Autonomic nervous system (ANS) Gender
This study was funded by the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC 93-2314-B-006-107, NSC 97-2314-B-006-006-MY3, NSC 100-2314-B-006-041-MY3, and NSC 101-2314-B-006-065) and the Atomic Energy Council of Taiwan (NSC 99-NU-E-006-003). The authors thank Mr. Chien Ting Lin and Ms. Tsai Hua Chang of the Department of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, in addition to the participants of this study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest in relation to this work. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board at National Cheng Kung University Hospital. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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