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ABSTRACT: Assessing the dynamics of heart rate fluctuations can provide valuable information about heart status. In this study, regularity of heart rate variability (HRV) of heart failure patients and healthy persons using the concept of singular value decomposition entropy (SvdEn) is analyzed. SvdEn is calculated from the time series using normalized singular values. The advantage of this method is its simplicity and fast computation. It enables analysis of very short and non-stationary data sets. The results show that SvdEn of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) shows a low value (SvdEn: 0.056 ± 0.006, p < 0.01) which can be completely separated from healthy subjects. In addition, differences of SvdEn values between day and night are found for the healthy groups. SvdEn decreases with age. The lower the SvdEn values, the higher the risk of heart disease. Moreover, SvdEn is associated with the energy of heart rhythm. The results show that using SvdEn for discriminating HRV in different physiological states for clinical applications is feasible and simple.Journal of Shanghai University (English Edition) 04/2012; 12(5):433-437.