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Heart failure is characterized by sympathetic activation and parasympathetic withdrawal leading to an abnormal autonomic modulation. Beta-blockers (BB) inhibit overstimulation of the sympathetic system and are indicated in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction. However, the effect of beta-blocker therapy on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is unclear. ECGs of 73 patients with HFpEF > 55% were recruited. There were 56 patients in the BB group and 17 patients in the without BB (NBB) group. The HRV analysis was performed for the 24-h period using a window size of 1,4 and 8-h. HRV measures between day and night for both the groups were also compared. Percentage change in the BB group relative to the NBB group was used as a measure of difference. RMSSD (13.27%), pNN50 (2.44%), HF power (44.25%) and LF power (13.53%) showed an increase in the BB group relative to the NBB group during the day and were statistically significant between the two groups for periods associated with high cardiac risk during the morning hours. LF:HF ratio showed a decrease of 3.59% during the day. The relative increase in vagal modulated RMSSD, pNN50 and HF power with a decrease in LF:HF ratio show an improvement in the parasympathetic tone and an overall decreased risk of a cardiac event especially during the morning hours that is characterized by a sympathetic surge.

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Journal article


Sci Rep

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Humans, Heart Rate, Heart Failure, Stroke Volume, Heart, Myocardial Ischemia, Circadian Rhythm, Adrenergic beta-Antagonists