Relationship between heart rate variability, interleukin-6, and soluble tissue factor in healthy subjects

von Känel, Roland; Nelesen, Richard A; Mills, Paul J; Ziegler, Michael G; Dimsdale, Joel E (2008). Relationship between heart rate variability, interleukin-6, and soluble tissue factor in healthy subjects. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 22(4), pp. 461-8. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.09.009

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Decreased heart rate variability (HRV) has been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that a decrease in frequency domains of resting HRV would be associated with elevated plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and soluble tissue factor (sTF) both previously shown to prospectively predict atherothrombotic events in healthy subjects. Subjects were 102 healthy and unmedicated black and white middle-aged men and women. We determined IL-6 and sTF antigen in plasma and HRV measures from surface electrocardiogram data using spectral analysis. All statistical analyses controlled for age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, blood pressure, and body mass index. Low amounts of low frequency (LF) power (beta=-0.31, p=0.007) and high frequency (HF) power (beta=-0.36, p=0.002) were associated with increased amounts of IL-6, explaining 7% and 9% of the variance, respectively. Interactions between LF power and IL-6 (p=0.002) and between HF power and IL-6 (p=0.012) explained 8% and 5%, respectively, of the variance in sTF. Post hoc analyses showed associations between IL-6 and sTF when LF power (beta=0.51, p<0.001) and HF power (beta=0.48, p<0.001) were low but not when LF power and high HF power were high. The findings suggest that systemic low-grade inflammatory activity is associated with a decrease in HRV. Furthermore, there was a positive relationship between plasma levels of IL-6 and sTF antigen when HRV was low. Inflammation and related hypercoagulability might particularly contribute to atherothrombotic events in a setting of decreased HRV.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:06

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:21

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URI: (FactScience: 132952)

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