Correlation between health-related quality of life in the physical domain and heart rate variability in asymptomatic adults

Wan Chun Lu, Nian Sheng Tzeng, Yu Chen Kao, Chin Bin Yeh, Terry B.J. Kuo, Chuan Chia Chang, Hsin An Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Reduced health-related quality of life in the physical domain (HRQOLphysical) has been reported to increase risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is still unclear. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) that connects the body and mind is a biologically plausible candidate to investigate this mechanism. The aim of our study is to examine whether the HRQOLphysical independently contributes to heart rate variability (HRV), which reflects ANS activity. Methods: We recruited 329 physically and mentally healthy adults. All participants completed Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory and World Health Organization Questionnaire on Quality of Life: Short Form-Taiwanese version (WHOQOL-BREF). They were divided into groups of individuals having high or low scores of HRQOLphysical as discriminated by the quartile value of WHOQOL-BREF. We obtained the time and frequency-domain indices of HRV, namely variance (total HRV), the low-frequency power (LF; 0.05-0.15 Hz), which may reflect baroreflex function, the high-frequency power (HF; 0.15-0.40 Hz), which reflects cardiac parasympathetic activity, and the LF/HF ratio. Results: There was an independent contribution of HRQOLphysical to explaining the variance in HRV after excluding potential confounding factors (gender, age, physical activity, alcohol use, depression and anxiety). Compared with the participants with high levels of HRQOLphysical, those with low levels of HRQOLphysical displayed significant reductions in variance and LF. Conclusions: This study highlights the independent role of low HRQOLphysical in contributing to the reduced HRV in healthy adults and points to a potential underlying mechanism for HRQOLphysical to confer increased risks for CVD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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