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Modeling the association between HR variability and illness in elite swimmers.: HRV and risk of illness in elite swimmers

Abstract : PURPOSE: To determine whether HR variability (HRV), an indirect measure of autonomic control, is associated with upper respiratory tract and pulmonary infections, muscular affections, and all-type pathologies in elite swimmers. METHODS: For this study, 7 elite international and 11 national swimmers were observed weekly for 2 yr. The indexes of cardiac autonomic regulation in supine and orthostatic position were assessed as explanatory variables by time domain (SD1, SD2) and spectral analyses (high frequency [HF] = 0.15-0.40 Hz, low frequency [LF] = 0.04-0.15 Hz, and HF/LF ratio) of HRV. Logistic mixed models described the relationship between the explanatory variables and the risk of upper respiratory tract and pulmonary infections, muscular affections, and all-type pathologies. RESULTS: The risk of all-type pathologies was higher for national swimmers and in winter (P < 0.01). An increase in the parasympathetic indexes (HF, SD1) in the supine position assessed 1 wk earlier was linked to a higher risk of upper respiratory tract and pulmonary infections (P < 0.05) and to a higher risk of muscular affections (increase in HF, P < 0.05). Multivariate analyses showed (1) a higher all-type pathologies risk in winter and for an increase in the total power of HRV associated with a decline SD1 in supine position, (2) a higher all-type pathologies risk in winter associated with a decline in HF assessed 1 wk earlier in orthostatic position, and (3) a higher risk of muscular affections in winter associated with a decrease SD1 and an increase LF in orthostatic position. CONCLUSIONS: Swimmers' health maintenance requires particular attention when autonomic balance shows a sudden increase in parasympathetic indices in the supine position assessed 1 wk earlier evolving toward sympathetic predominance in supine and orthostatic positions.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 6:33:06 PM
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Philippe Hellard, Fanny Guimaraes, Marta Avalos, Nicolas Houel, Christophe Hausswirth, et al.. Modeling the association between HR variability and illness in elite swimmers.: HRV and risk of illness in elite swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 2011, 43 (6), pp.1063-70. ⟨10.1249/MSS.0b013e318204de1c⟩. ⟨inserm-00541526⟩

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