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Nocturnal Heart Rate Variability Spectrum Characterization in Preschool Children with Asthmatic Symptoms

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1332-1340
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number5
Early online date16 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Asthma is a chronic lung disease that usually develops during chilhood. Despite that symptoms can almost be controlled with medication, early diagnosis is desirable in order to reduce permanent airway obstruction risk. It has been suggested that abnormal parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activity might be closely related with the pathogenesis of asthma, and that this PSNS activity could be reflected in cardiac vagal control. In this work, an index to measure the spectral regularity of the high frequency (HF) component of heart rate variability (HRV) spectrum, named peakness (P), is proposed. Three different implementations of P, based on electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings, impedance pneumography (IP) recordings and a combination of both, were employed in the characterization of a group of pre-school children classified attending to their risk of developing asthma. Peakier componentswere observed in the HF band of those children classified as high-risk (p < 0.005), who also presented reduced sympathvoagal balance. Results suggest that high-risk of developing asthma might be related with a lack of adaptability of PSNS.


  • asthma, children, Electrocardiography, Heart rate variability, heart rate variability, Informatics, parasympathetic nervous system, peakness, Pediatrics, Pregnancy, Respiratory system, Signal to noise ratio

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Field of science, Statistics Finland