The relationship between serum sex steroid levels and heart rate variability parameters in males and the effect of age [Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars]
Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2010; 38(7): 459-465

The relationship between serum sex steroid levels and heart rate variability parameters in males and the effect of age

M Tolga Doğru1, M Murad Başar2, Ercan Yuvanç2, Vedat Şimşek1, Ömer Şahin1
1Department of Cardiology, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey
2Department of Urology, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey


OBJECTIVES
We evaluated the relationships between sex steroid levels and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters.

STUDY DESIGN
The study included 114 male subjects (mean age 46.6±11.3 years) presenting to our department for cardiologic evaluation. Hormonal analysis included serum levels of luteinizing hormone, prolactin, total testosterone (TT), free testosterone, estradiol (E2), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S). Parameters of HRV were derived from 24-hour Holter monitoring. The associations between serum sex steroid levels and HRV parameters were investigated in three age groups (20-39 years; 40-59 years; >60 years).

RESULTS
All the participants had normal biochemical results. The three age groups were similar in terms of anthropometric measurements. Among sex steroids analyzed, only serum DHEA-S level was significantly different among the groups (p=0.026), showing a decreasing trend with age. In the evaluation of HRV, all parasympathetic activities decreased (for HFn, pNN50, and rMSDD: p=0.001, p=0.000, and p=0.000, respectively), while only LF/HF among sympathetic activities increased (p=0.000) with age. Partial correlation analysis with control of age and waist circumference showed that TT and DHEA-S were positively correlated with HFn (parasympathetic parameter), and were in negative correlation with LF/HF24 hours and global sympathetic index (GSI) (sympathetic parameters). Serum E2 level was negatively correlated with the parasympathetic parameter of rMSSD, and positively correlated with LF/HF24 hours and GSI. Among serum sex steroids, DHEA-S was the most correlated parameter with autonomic functions.

CONCLUSION
Our results showed positive correlations between androgens and parasympathetic activity and between estradiol and sympathetic activity in men, independent from anthropometric factors.

Keywords: Androgens, dehydroepiandrosterone, electrocardiography, ambulatory; estradiol; gonadal steroid hormones; heart rate; male; testosterone

How to cite this article
M Tolga Doğru, M Murad Başar, Ercan Yuvanç, Vedat Şimşek, Ömer Şahin. The relationship between serum sex steroid levels and heart rate variability parameters in males and the effect of age. Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2010; 38(7): 459-465

Corresponding Author: M Tolga Doğru, Türkiye
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