Heart Rate Variability in Normotensive and Hypertensive Adults After a Year of Receiving Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study.

Publication date: Jun 01, 2023

Background and aim Heart rate variability (HRV) helps in assessing the autonomic nervous system’s function, which has been implicated in cardiovascular disease risk. HRV has been found to be deranged in hypertension. In addition, studies have shown that COVID-19 infection and vaccination can affect HRV. However, the long-term effect of HRV on hypertension has not been explored after COVID-19 vaccination. The objective of this study was to observe the HRV in hypertensive adults after one year of receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and to compare it with normotensive adults. Methods The study included 105 normotensives (blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg) and 75 hypertensive participants who had received the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine one year prior. HRV was measured using the PowerLab system (ADInstruments) with the participants in a sitting posture. The HRV parameters assessed included the time domain, frequency domain, and nonlinear measures. Data were presented in descriptive and inferential statistical terms, and the parameters of two groups of individuals were compared by either an unpaired t-test or the Mann-Whitney U test. Results A total of 105 normotensive participants with a mean age of 42. 51 +/- 9. 28 years and 75 hypertensive participants with a mean age of 44. 24 +/- 10. 19 years comprised the sample (p=0. 24). Normotensive individuals had a higher standard deviation of RR intervals, a higher coefficient of variation of RR intervals, a higher standard deviation of heart rate, and a higher percentage of successive differences in RR intervals in the time domain. They also had higher values of very low-frequency power, low-frequency (LF) power, and high-frequency (HF) power in the frequency domain. The LF/HF ratio was not significantly different between the two groups. In nonlinear analysis, SD2, a measure of long-term heart rate variability, was higher in normotensive individuals. Conclusion The Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine did not have a significant effect on HRV parameters in normotensive and hypertensive adults one year after vaccination. However, changes in HRV parameters were observed between supine and standing positions, suggesting the importance of postural changes in HRV assessment.

Concepts Keywords
Astrazeneca autonomic function
Hypertension blood pressure
Oxford covid
Vaccination covishield
heart rate variability


Type Source Name
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease MESH cardiovascular disease
disease MESH hypertension
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH infection
disease VO vaccination
disease IDO blood
disease MESH posture
disease VO time
disease VO frequency
disease VO vaccine

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