Cardiac Autonomic Modulation Response Before, During, and After Submaximal Exercise in Older Adults With Intellectual Disability

Manel Font-Farré, Ana Claudia Silva Farche, Anielle C. de Medeiros Takahashi, Myriam Guerra-Balic, Arturo Figueroa, Guillermo R. Oviedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The analysis of the heart rate variability (HRV) consists of changes in the time intervals between consecutive R waves. It provides information on the autonomic nervous system regulation and it is a predictor of adverse cardiovascular events. Several studies analyzed this parameter in youth and adults with Intellectual Disability (ID). Nevertheless, there is a lack of information regarding the HRV before, during, and after exercise in older adults with ID. Therefore, we aimed to describe and compare the cardiac autonomic modulation before, during, and after the six-minute walk test (6MWT) in older adults with and without ID. Twenty-four volunteers with ID and 24 without ID (non-ID) participated in this study. HRV was assessed by R-R intervals at rest, during and after the 6MWT. At rest and recovery periods, the participants remained sited. The symbolic analysis was used to evaluate non-linear HRV components. The recovery HR kinetics was assessed by the mean response time, which is equivalent to time constant (τ)+time delay (TD). Between groups differences in HRV variables were not significant. During the recovery period, HR kinetics time variables showed significant better results in non-ID participants (TD: 6±5s vs. 15±11s; τ: 19±10s vs. 35±17s; and MRT: 25±9s vs. 50±11s, all p<0.050). In conclusion, our results suggest that the HRV in older adults with and without ID is similar during rest, exercise, and recovery. Recovery HR kinetics after the 6MWT was slower in older adults with ID. The reason for these results may be a reduced post-exercise vagal rebound in older adults with ID.

Original languageEnglish
Article number702418
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • cardiac autonomic modulation
  • heart rate kinetics
  • heart rate variability
  • intellectual disability
  • older adults
  • physical activity


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiac Autonomic Modulation Response Before, During, and After Submaximal Exercise in Older Adults With Intellectual Disability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this