[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fractal analysis of heart rate (HR) variability (HRV) has been used as a new approach to evaluate the risk of mortality in various patient groups. Aim of this study is to examine the prognostic power of detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and traditional time- and frequency-domain analyses of HR dynamics as predictors of mortality among elderly people in a community.
We examined 298 people older than 75 years (average age: 79.6 years) and 1-h ambulatory ECG was monitored. During the last 10 min, deep respiration (6-s expiration and 4-s inspiration) was repeated six times in a supine position. Time-domain and frequency-domain measures were determined by the maximum entropy method. Scaling exponents of short-term (<11 beats, alpha 1) and longer-term (>11 beats, alpha 2) were determined by the DFA method. Six estimates, obtained from 10-min segments, were averaged to derive mean values for the entire recording span. These average values were denoted Alpha 1 and Alpha 2, estimates obtained during the first 10-min segment Alpha 1 S and Alpha 2 S, and those during the last 10-min segment Alpha 1E and Alpha 2E, respectively. The LILAC study started on July 25, 2000 and ended on November 30, 2004. We used Cox regression analysis to calculate relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for all-cause mortality. Significance was considered at a value of P < 0.05.
Gender, age and Alpha 2E showed a statistically significant association with all-cause mortality. In univariate analyses, gender was significantly associated with all-cause mortality, being associated with a RR of 3.59 (P = 0.00136). Age also significantly predicted all-cause mortality and a 5-year increase in age was associated with a RR of 1.49 (P = 0.01809). The RR of developing all-cause mortality predicted by a 0.2-unit increase in Alpha 2E was 0.58 (P = 0.00390). Other indices of fractal analysis of HRV did not have predictive value. In multivariate analyses, when both Alpha 2E and gender were used as continuous variables in the same model, Alpha 2E remained significantly associated with the occurrence of all-cause mortality (P = 0.02999). After adjustment for both gender and age, a 0.2-unit increase in Alpha 2E was associated with a RR of 0.61 (95% CI: 0.42-0.90, p = 0.01151).
An intermediate-term fractal-like scaling exponent of RR intervals was a better predictor of death than the traditional measures of HR variability in elderly community-dwelling people. It is noteworthy that the longer-term (alpha 2) rather than the short-term fractal component (alpha 1) showed predictive value for all-cause mortality, which suggests that an increase in the randomness of intermediate-term HR behavior may be a specific marker of neurohumoral and sympathetic activation and therefore may also be associated with an increased risk of mortality.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of high altitude on arterial stiffness and neuro-cardio-pulmonary function were studied. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were measured in a sitting position on resting Ladakhis, living at an altitude of 3250-4647 m (Phey village, 3250 m: 17 men and 55 women; Chumathang village, 4193 m: 29 men and 47 women; Sumdo village, 4540 m: 38 men and 57 women; and Korzok village, 4647 m: 84 men and 70 women). The neuro-cardio-pulmonary function, including the Kohs block design test, the Up and Go, the Functional Reach and the Button tests, was examined in 40 elderly subjects (19 men and 21 women, mean age: 74.7 +/- 3.3 years) in Leh, Ladakh (altitude: 3524 m), for comparison with 324 elderly citizens (97 men and 227 women, mean age: 80.7 +/- 4.7 years) of Tosa, Japan (altitude: 250 m). Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index (CAVI) was measured as the heart-ankle pulse wave velocity (PWV) in these subjects using a VaSera CAVI instrument (Fukuda Denshi, Tokyo). SpO(2) decreased while Hb and diastolic BP increased with increasing altitude. At higher altitude, residents were younger and leaner. Women in Leh vs. Tosa had a poorer cognitive function, estimated by the Kohs block design test (3.7 +/- 3.6 vs. 16.4 +/- 9.6 points, P < 0.0001) and poorer ADL functions (Functional Reach: 13.7 +/- 7.0 cm vs. 25.3 +/- 8.7 cm, P < 0.0001; Button test: 22.5 +/- 4.8 vs. 14.8 +/- 5.7 s, P < 0.0001). Time estimation was shorter at high altitude (60-s estimation with counting: 41.1% shorter in men and 23.0% shorter in women). A higher voltage of the QRS complex was observed in the ECG of Leh residents, but two times measurement of CAVI showed no statistically significant differences between Leh and Tosa (two times of CAVI measures; 9.49 vs. 10.01 m/s and 9.41 vs. 10.05 m/s, respectively), suggesting that most residents succeed to adapt sufficiently to the high-altitude environment. However, correlation of CAVI with age shows several cases who show an extreme increase in CAVI. Thus, for the prevention of stroke and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including dementia, CAVI may be very useful, especially at high altitude. In conclusion, elderly people living at high altitude have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than low-latitude peers. To determine how these indices are associated with maintained cognitive function deserves further study by the longitudinal follow-up of these communities in terms of longevity and aging in relation to their neuro-cardio-pulmonary function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several cohort studies have examined the association of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) with the risk of stroke or myocardial infarction in apparently healthy persons. We investigated the predictive value of IMT of cardiovascular mortality in elderly community-dwelling people, beyond the prediction provided by age and MMSE, assessed by means of a multivariate Cox model. Carotid IMT and plaque were evaluated bilaterally with ultrasonography in 298 people older than 75 years (120 men and 178 women, average age: 79.6 years). The LILAC study started on July 25, 2000. Consultations were repeated every year. The follow-up ended on November 30, 2004. During the mean follow-up span of 1152 days, 30 subjects (21 men and nine women) died. Nine deaths were attributable to cardiovascular causes (myocardial infarction: two men and three women; stroke: two men and two women). The age- and MMSE-adjusted relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of developing all-cause mortality was assessed. A 0.3 mm increase in left IMT was associated with a RR of predicted 1.647 (1.075-2.524), and a similar increase in right IMT with a RR of 3.327 (1.429-7.746). For cardiovascular mortality, the corresponding RR values were 2.351 (1.029-5.372) and 2.890 (1.059-7.891), respectively. Carotid IMT assessed by ultrasonography is positively associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular death in elderly community-dwelling people.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of aging on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) was investigated in a cross-sectional study in the high-altitude community of Leh, Ladakh (altitude: 3524 m) and a Japanese community in U town, Hokkaido (altitude: 25 m). BP and HR were obtained in a sitting position from 332 subjects 13-81 years of age in Ladakh, and from 216 Japanese citizens, 24-79 years of age. Measurements were taken after a 2-min rest, using a semi-automated BP device (UA-767 PC, A and D Co. LTD, Tokyo). High-altitude people showed higher diastolic BP and HR values than lowland people (83.2 vs. 76.9 mmHg and 78.6 vs. 69.2 bpm, P < 0.001), but no difference in systolic BP. Highland people also showed a steeper BP increase with age than the lowland people (systolic BP: 0.7476 vs. 0.3179 mmHg/year, P < 0.0005; diastolic BP: 0.3196 vs. 0.0750 mmHg/year, P < 0.001). This chronoecologic investigation in Ladakh examined the circulation as a physiological system at high-altitude. Our data indicate the need for a more comprehensive cardiovascular assessment for a better diagnosis and a more fruitful treatment. Longitudinal observations of effects of socio-ecologic factors on the cardiovascular system should help prevent strokes and other cardiovascular events, especially at high altitude.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the predictive value of arterial stiffness to assess cardiovascular risk in elderly community-dwelling people by means of a multivariate Cox model. In 298 people older than 75 years (120 men and 178 women, average age: 79.6 years), brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured between the right arm and ankle in a supine position. The LILAC study started on July 25, 2000, consultation was repeated yearly, and the last follow-up ended on November 30, 2004. During this follow-up span of 1227 days, there were nine cardiovascular deaths, the cause of death being myocardial infarction for two men and three women or stroke for two men and two women. In Cox proportional hazard models, baPWV as well as age, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Hasegawa Dementia Scale Revised (HDSR) and the low-frequency/high-frequency (LF/HF) ratio showed a statistically significant association with the occurrence of cardiovascular death. A two-point increase in MMSE and HDSR score significantly protected against cardiovascular death, the relative risk (RR) being 0.776 (P = 0.0369) and 0.753 (P = 0.0029), respectively. The LF/HF ratio also was significant (P = 0.025), but the other indices of HRV were not. After adjustment for age and HDSR, a 200 cm/s increase in baPWV was associated with a 30.2% increase in risk (RR = 1.302, 95% CI: 1.110-1.525), and a 500 cm/s increase in baPWV with a 93.3% increase in risk (RR = 1.933, 95% CI: 1.300-2.874, P = 0.0011), whereas the LF/HF ratio was no longer associated with a statistically significant increase in cardiovascular mortality. In elderly community-dwelling people, arterial stiffness measured by means of baPWV predicted the occurrence of cardiovascular death beyond the prediction provided by age, gender, blood pressure and cognitive functions. baPWV should be added to the cardiovascular assessment in various clinical settings, including field medical surveys and preventive screening. The early detection of risk by chronomics allows the timely institution of prophylactic measures, thereby shifting the focus from rehabilitation to prehabilitation medicine, as a public service to several Japanese towns.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By means of a multivariate Cox model, we investigated the predictive value of a depressive mood on vascular disease risk in middle-aged community-dwelling people. In 224 people (88 men and 136 women; mean age: 56.8 +/- 11.2 years) of U town, Hokkaido (latitude: 43.45 degrees N, longitude: 141.85 degrees E), a chronoecological health watch was started in April 2001. Consultations were repeated every 3 months. Results at the November 30, 2004 follow-up are presented herein. 7-day/24-h blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) monitoring started on a Thursday, with readings taken at 30-min intervals between 07:00 h and 22:00 h and at 60-min intervals between 22:00 h and 07:00 h. Data stored in the memory of the monitor (TM-2430-15, A and D company, Japan) were retrieved and analyzed on a personal computer with a commercial software for this device. Subjects were asked to answer a self-administered questionnaire inquiring about 15 items of a depression scale, at the start of study and again after 1-2 years. Subjects with a score higher by at least two points at the second versus first screening were classified as having a depressive mood. The other subjects served as the control group. The mean follow-up time was 1064 days, during which four subjects suffered an adverse vascular outcome (myocardial infarction: one man and one woman; stroke: two men). Among the variables used in the Cox proportional hazard models, a depressive mood, assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), as well as the MESOR of diastolic (D) BP (DBP-MESOR) and the circadian amplitude of systolic (S) BP (SBP-Amplitude) showed a statistically significant association with the occurrence of adverse vascular outcomes. The GDS score during the second but not during the first session was statistically significantly associated with the adverse vascular outcome. In univariate analyses, the relative risk (RR) of developing outcomes was predicted by a three-point increase in the GDS scale (RR = 3.088, 95% CI: 1.375-6.935, P = 0.0063). Increases of 5 mmHg in DBP-MESOR and of 3 mmHg in SBP-Amplitude were associated with RRs of 2.143 (95% CI: 1.232-3.727, P = 0.0070) and 0.700 (95% CI: 0.495-0.989, P = 0.0430), respectively. In multivariate analyses, when both the second GDS score and the DBP-MESOR were used as continuous variables in the same model, GDS remained statistically significantly associated with the occurrence of cardiovascular death. After adjustment for DBP-MESOR, a three-point increase in GDS score was associated with a RR of 2.172 (95% CI: 1.123-4.200). Monday endpoints of the 7-day profile showed a statistically significant association with adverse vascular outcomes. A 5 mmHg increase in DBP on Monday was associated with a RR of 1.576 (95% CI: 1.011-2.457, P = 0.0446). The main result of the present study is that in middle-aged community-dwelling people, a depressive mood predicted the occurrence of vascular diseases beyond the prediction provided by age, gender, ABP, lifestyle and environmental conditions, as assessed by means of a multivariate Cox model. A depressive mood, especially enhanced for 1-2 years, was associated with adverse vascular outcomes. Results herein suggest the clinical importance of repetitive assessments of a depressive mood and the need to take sufficient care of depressed subjects. Another result herein is that circadian and circaseptan characteristics of BP variability measured 7-day/24-h predicted the occurrence of vascular disease beyond the prediction provided by age, gender, depressive mood and lifestyle, as assessed by means of a multivariate Cox model. Earlier, we showed that the morning surge in BP on Mondays was statistically significantly higher compared with other weekdays. Although a direct association between the Monday surge in BP and cardiovascular events could not be demonstrated herein, it is possible that the BP surge on Monday mornings may also trigger cardiovascular events. We have shown that depressive people exhibit a more prominent circaseptan variation in SBP, DBP and the double product (DP) compared to non-depressed subjects. In view of the strong relation between depression and adverse cardiac events, studies should be done to ascertain that depression is properly diagnosed and treated. Chronodiagnosis and chronotherapy can reduce an elevated blood pressure and improve the altered variability in BP and HR, thus reducing the incidence of adverse cardiac events. This recommendation stands at the basis of chronomics, focusing on prehabilitation in preference to rehabilitation, as a public service offered in several Japanese towns.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data on the daily numbers of births in Davao, Philippines, available from 1993 to 2003 are re-analyzed herein by linear-nonlinear rhythmometry, as are data from Italy and Japan. A transyear, characterizing the solar wind and other non-photic physical environmental factors, corresponds to a spectral peak of the near-equatorial natality series. This component with a period of about 1.3 years is found to have an amplitude larger than the calendar year, the amplitude ratio being 134%. Whereas the transyear is validated nonlinearly, the 95% confidence interval for the period extending from 1.21 to 1.38 years and the 95% confidence interval for the amplitude not overlapping zero (P < 0.05), the annual variation is only demonstrable by linear least squares analysis. The results bring added evidence for an influence of non-photic environmental effects on human physiology, in this case data collected near the equatorial region, Davao being situated at 7 degrees N, 126 degrees E. They are in keeping with some degree of generality of a rule of reciprocity among mutually supporting physical and biological periodicities. They do not detract from the fact that in other longer data sets at higher latitudes, the calendar year, presumably reflecting climatic influences, dominates the spectrum.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to investigate infradian aspects of sudden death, the daily incidence of 70,531 cases recorded in response to a call for an ambulance during 3 years (1979-1981) in Moscow, Russia, were re-analysed, focusing on multiseptans (components with periods of 7 days and/or multiples thereof). Apart from a prominent yearly and half-yearly variation in the daily incidence of sudden death, least squares spectra revealed the presence of about-weekly and two-weekly components. The about 15.2-day variation was validated by nonlinear least squares and shown to differ in period length from that found in the local index of geomagnetic activity, K. This result suggests that apart from any geomagnetic influence on sudden death, changes in lifestyle (such as alcohol consumption) associated with the twice-a-month salary schedule may affect the occurrence of sudden death. Such a component is not prominently seen for the incidence of other cardiovascular conditions recorded in the same database. The weekly pattern of sudden death, peaking on Saturdays, also differs from those of other cardiovascular conditions, characterized by a higher daily incidence on Mondays. The possibility to now record events in cardioverter-defibrillators offers an opportunity to explore broad chronomes of potentially lethal arrhythmia that may lead to a better understanding of underlying triggers, so that novel countermeasures may be designed and implemented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to investigate any circannual and/or circaseptan variations in birth incidence and birth weight in Toda City (Japan), data on 4,411 consecutive births were obtained from the city's Maternity Hospital between 1 Jan 1999 and 31 Dec 2001. Data were analysed by cosinor separately for babies with birth weights in given ranges, and separately for boys and girls born at different gestational ages. A circannual rhythm was detected with statistical significance (P=0.047) for birth incidence of all vaginal deliveries, with an acrophase in the fall. A similar result for caesarean sections was of borderline statistical significance. A circaseptan component with a relatively consistent acrophase around midweek was of borderline statistical significance for birth incidence in some of the groups investigated. About-yearly and about-weekly variations were also found to characterize birth weight in some of the groups investigated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several kinds of health consultation and rehabilitation for functional disorders aimed at stroke prevention and maintenance of cognitive function in an elderly population in Hokkaido county, Japan. Changes in cardiovascular and neurobehavioral endpoints between 2000 and 2002 were assessed in 72 of 115 subjects over 75 years of age. Direct social intervention, including lifestyle modification can have a positive impact, notably on subjects with cardiovascular disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression, which is a risk factor for cardiac morbidity and mortality, is not an unusual occurrence among individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD), but evidence concerning its role in the pathogenesis of this condition is less clear. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) has become an important tool in the diagnosis and management of hypertension. Several previous studies have indicated that various kinds of target organ damage and cardiovascular morbidity are more strongly associated with a diagnosis by ABPM than through spot-checks in a clinical setting. This study investigated whether depressive mood was associated with changes in the about-weekly (circaseptan) and half-weekly (circasemiseptan) variations in blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), including a BP surge on Mondays, in community-dwelling subjects monitored chronomically for the time structure (chronome) of their BP and HR variabilities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of geomagnetic disturbance on heart rate variability (HRV), the 1/f fractal scaling in particular, are being assessed in adults living at high latitude, where magnetic storms are more frequent and more intense than at lower latitudes. The latter may constitute a signal or a proxy, and possibly a mechanism underlying both undesirable and desirable effects, depending upon circumstances yet to be elucidated. Any circadecadal stage-dependence of morbidity and/or mortality from certain conditions such as myocardial infarctions remains to be studied in both adult and pediatric populations. Further work could thus examine whether any associations of geomagnetic disturbances may account, at least in part, through effects upon the circulation, for long-term infra-annual changes, possibly anchored in the population's gene pool, observed in a number of anthropologic measurements at birth as well as in other population statistics. In order to assess the development of several chronome components of the electrocardiogram (ECG), around-the-clock ambulatory ECG were recorded from 19 infants (25 days-3 months of age), 22 children (3-9 years of age), 18 boys and girls (10-14 years of age), pubertal boys (15-20 years of age), and 10 young men (21-29 years of age). Time- and frequency-domain measures of HRV were obtained by spectral analysis, using the maximal entropy method (MEM). The frequency of detection of the circadian, circasemidian and circaoctohoran components, with periods of about 24, 12 and 8 h, respectively, was compared among the five groups for several HRV endpoints, notably 1/f fractal scaling, total spectral power within a 5-min span, and its distribution into several frequency regions. A circadian component is already detectable in a sizeable proportion of infants and children for most of the HRV indices considered. The incidence of detection of the circadian component increases with age for the spectral power in different frequency regions, notably around 10.5 s ("LF") and around 3.6 s ("HF"); it peaks around puberty for 1/f in our data; and it did not detectably change with age for the total spectral power. Similar changes with age are not observed for the circasemidian or circaoctohoran components. The latter characterizes primarily 1/f and less so the about 3.6 s power ("HF"). Several aspects of the HRV chronome may thus develop differently as a function of age. In 2000, we began a community-based study named "Longitudinal Investigation of Longevity and Aging in Hokkaido County (LILAC study)". The ambulatory blood pressure (BP) of middle-aged subjects, aged 40-74 years, was monitored 7-day/24-h, and the cardiovascular and neurobehavioral functions of elderly people above 75 years were evaluated. Our goal was the prevention of stroke and myocardial infarction and the decline in cognitive function of the elderly in a community. Of 115 elderly people recruited in a longitudinal community-based study in 2000, 72 completed yearly follow-ups in 2002. A cardiovascular score based on BP, pulse wave velocity, and 1-h ECG-based HRV endpoints served to distinguish between normal, mildly disordered, or disordered participants. A comparison of cognitive function in 2002 vs. 2000, assessed with the MMSE, HDSR, the Up & Go and Functional Reach tests, gauged any effect of social intervention. Cognitive function was maintained or improved, especially for people suffering from hypertension, tachycardia, or a decreased HRV, suggesting that cardiovascular function is a major factor affecting cognitive function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to assess the development of several chronome components of the electrocardiogram, around-the-clock ambulatory ECG records were obtained from 19 infants (25 days to 3 months of age), 22 children (3-9 years of age), 18 boys and girls (10-14 years of age), 14 pubertal boys (15-20 years of age), and 19 young men (21-29 years of age). Time- and frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) were obtained by spectral analysis, using the maximal entropy method (MEM). The frequency of detection of the circadian, circasemidian and circaoctohoran components, with periods of about 24, 12 and 8 hours, respectively, was compared among the five groups for several HRV endpoints, notably the 1/f fractal scaling, total spectral power within a 180-min span, and its distribution in several frequency regions. A circadian component is already detectable in a sizeable proportion of infants and children for most of the HRV indices considered. The incidence of detection of the circadian component increases with age for the spectral power in different frequency regions, notably around 10.5 seconds ('LF') and around 3.6 seconds ('HF'); it peaks around puberty for 1/f; and it does not change with age for the total spectral power. Similar changes with age are not observed for the circasemidian or circaoctohoran components. The latter characterizes primarily 1/f and less so 'HF'. Several aspects of the HRV chronome may thus develop differently as a function of age, in keeping with the time-macroscopic findings of Theodor Hellbrügge nearly half a century ago. The results are interpreted in the light of gender differences found for several time-domain measures of HRV and of trends as a function of age, which are not necessarily linear. Effects of geomagnetic disturbance on HRV, the 1/f fractal scaling in particular, are assessed in adults living at a high latitude where magnetic storms are felt more strongly, that may constitute a signal and possibly a mechanism underlying both undesirable and desirable effects, depending upon circumstances yet to be elucidated. The possibly circadecadal stage-dependence of morbidity and/or mortality from certain conditions, such as myocardial infarctions, remains to be studied in pediatric populations. Further work could thus examine whether any effects of geomagnetic disturbances may account, at least in part, through effects upon the circulation, for long-term infraannual changes, possibly anchored in the population's gene pool, observed in a number of anthropologic measurements at birth as well as in other population statistics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is becoming recognized that geomagnetic activity may influence biological processes, including the incidence of various human diseases. There is evidence that heart rate variability (HRV) may serve not only as an index of autonomic coordination of the circulation, but also as a powerful predictor of risk in apparently healthy subjects. This study focuses on the effects of geomagnetic disturbance on HRV, by comparing different indices of HRV of young, healthy men living in a subarctic area on days of low (Ap; 0-7), middle (Ap; 7-20), and high (Ap; 20-45) geomagnetic activity. The effect of geomagnetic disturbance on HRV is examined on the basis of 7-day records by Holter ECG, obtained longitudinally on 5 clinically healthy men, 21-31 years of age, in Alta, Norway (70 degree N). Frequency- and time-domain measures of HRV were analyzed for each subject on separate 24-hour spans. A graded alteration of HRV endpoints was found in association with increased geomagnetic activity. As time-domain measures of HRV, SDNNIDX and the 90% length of the Lorenz plot decreased statistically significantly on days with increased geomagnetic disturbance (p = 0.0144 and p = 0.0102, respectively). A graded decrease in frequency-domain HRV measures was also validated statistically for the total spectral power (decrease of 18.1% and 31.6% on days when 7 < Ap < 20 and 20 < Ap < 45 versus days when Ap < 7; p = 0.0013). The decrease in spectral power was mainly found at frequencies below 0.04 Hz, in the "ultra-low-frequency" (0.0001-0.003 Hz; 18.1% and 27.5% decrease, respectively; p = 0.0102) and "very-low-frequency" (0.003-0.04 Hz; 12.9% and 28.6% decrease, respectively; p = 0.0209) regions of the spectrum. The decrease in spectral power was much less pronounced around 10.5 sec ("low frequency"; N.S.) and around 3.6 sec ("high frequency"; N.S.). Evidence is provided here that HRV decreases on magnetically disturbed days, and that it does so in a dose-dependent fashion, HRV being depressed more on days when 20 < Ap < 45 than on days when 7 < Ap < 20, by comparison with days when Ap < 7. This graded response of HRV to geomagnetic activity should encourage us to search for human magnetoreceptors and for a better understanding of putative mechanisms of magnetoreception.