Cardiovascular health holds paramount significance due to its pivotal role in sustaining overall well-being and longevity. The cardiovascular system, encompassing the heart, blood vessels, and circulation, is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and essential substances throughout the body while removing waste products. In essence, cardiovascular health is pivotal for a thriving and fulfilling life. Through proper lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management, and avoidance of harmful habits like smoking, individuals can take proactive steps to safeguard their cardiovascular system and enhance their overall health and longevity.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability (HRV) consists of changes in the time intervals between consecutive heartbeats called interbeat intervals (IBIs). A healthy heart is not a metronome. Low HRV is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in individuals with or without known CVD. The data suggests a 32–45% increased risk of a first cardiovascular event in low-HRV populations without known CVD. An increase in the standard deviation of the normalized N–N interval (SDNN) of 1% results in an ∼1% lower risk of fatal or non-fatal CVD .
SDNN of over 100ms is considered healthy .
HRV seems to decrease as a result of aging.
Contrasted against individuals exhibiting consistently low blood pressure and minimal fluctuations, those with elevated blood pressure levels and irregular oscillations face a heightened risk of cerebrovascular disease. It is prudent to structure your lifestyle in a manner that fosters consistent blood pressure within a favorable range. The optimal target lies between 90/60 and 120/80, reflecting a healthy spectrum for blood pressure regulation.
- One way to measure one's HRV is to get an Apple Watch. There are a few different metrics that may be used. Apple Watches measure SDNN.
- Hillebrand S. et al, Heart rate variability and first cardiovascular event in populations without known cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis and dose–response meta-regression. EP Europace, Volume 15, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 742–749. https://doi.org/10.1093/europace/eus341
- Shaffer F, Ginsberg JP. An Overview of Heart Rate Variability Metrics and Norms. Front Public Health. 2017 Sep 28;5:258. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2017.00258. PMID: 29034226; PMCID: PMC5624990.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5624990/