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Heart rate variability (HRV) is a simple non-invasive, sensitive measure to evaluate autonomic system activity. Sympathovagal imbalance can explain increased incidence of sudden cardiac deaths associated with increased Body Mass Index (BMI). Understanding the mechanism that connects obesity and autonomic nervous system (ANS) functions is important because increasing obesity prevalence documented among men and women of all ages. The aim of the study is to assess the relationship of body mass index to heart rate variability in young females. In this study, 90 healthy female students, aged between 17-22 years were included. After calculating the BMI, subjects were divided into three groups. HRV was recorded for 5 min using INCO-NIVIQURE DIGITAL ACQUISITION SYSTEM VER.52.0. Low frequency (LF) component, high frequency (HF) component and LF:HF ratio were recorded and the relation between BMI, HF, LF and LF:HF ratio were analysed using ANOVA test. In this study, LF:HF ratio in overweight females was found to be high and parasympathetic was decrease when compared to normal weight and underweight females. Raised BMI is associated with reduced HRV, which correlates with decreased parasympathetic activity and sympathovagal imbalance, thus increases the chances of cardiac autonomic dysfunction and eventually leading to cardiovascular disease in overweight female.
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