Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 332–338 | Cite as

Gastric Bypass and Cardiac Autonomic Activity: Influence of Gender and Age

  • Marcos Borges MachadoEmail author
  • Irineu T. Velasco
  • Augusto Scalabrini-Neto
Research Article



Obesity is associated with increased sympathetic activity and higher mortality. Treatment of this condition is often frustrating. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most effective technique nowadays for treatment of obesity. The aim of the present study is to assess the effects of this surgery on the cardiac autonomic activity, including the influence of gender and age, through heart rate variability (HRV) analysis.


The study group consisted of 71 obese patients undergoing gastric bypass. Time domain measures of HRV, obtained from 24-h Holter recordings, were evaluated before and 6 months after surgery, and the results were compared. Percentage of interval differences of successive normal sinus beats greater than 50 ms (pNN50) and square root of the mean squared differences of successive normal sinus beat intervals (rMSSD) was used to estimate the short-term components of HRV, related to the parasympathetic activity. Standard deviation of intervals between all normal sinus beats (SDNN) was related to overall HRV.


SDNN, pNN50, and rMSSD showed significant increase 6 months after surgery (p < 0.001, p = 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Men presented a greater increase of SDNN than women (p = 0.006) during the follow-up. There was a difference in rMSSD evolution for age groups (p = 0.002). Only younger patients presented significant increase of rMSSD.


Overall HRV increased 6 months after surgery; this increase was more evident in men. Cardiac parasympathetic activity increased also, but in younger patients only.


Bariatric surgery Gastric bypass Weight loss Autonomic nervous system Heart rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcos Borges Machado
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Irineu T. Velasco
    • 2
  • Augusto Scalabrini-Neto
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineState University of MaringáMaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of São Paulo School of MedicineSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Av IndependênciaMaringáBrazil

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