Heart rate variability is related to impaired haemorheology in older women with type 2 diabetes
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Impaired heart rate variability (HRV)and haemorheology are independently associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetic complications. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships between parameters of HRV,and red blood cell (RBC) aggregation and deformability, in older women with type 2 diabetes. Twenty women (age 69 ± 2 yr) with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes and twenty controls (age 69 ± 3 yr) participated in the study. Beat-to-beat cardiac (RR) intervals over 5 min were analysed for HRV parameters in the time and frequency domains. Blood was sampled for RBC deformability, as well as RBC aggregation in two suspending mediums: haematocrit adjusted plasma and 3% dextran 70. RBC aggregation was increased and HRV was impaired for those with type 2 diabetes when compared with control. RBC aggregation was negatively related to low frequency power of HRV, and was positively related to high frequency power of HRV, for subjects with type 2 diabetes. RBC deformability was positively related to HRV only for those with type 2 diabetes. Impaired haemorheology is associated with reduced HRV in older women with type 2 diabetes, suggesting changes in the microcirculation may result in impaired modulation of cardiac cycles.