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Associations between insulin and heart rate variability in police officers

Authors

  • Luenda E. Charles,

    Corresponding author
    1. Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
    • Correspondence to: Luenda E. Charles, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HELD/BEB, MS L-4050, 1095 Willowdale Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505-2888, USA. E-mail: lcharles@cdc.gov

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  • Michael E. Andrew,

    1. Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Khachatur Sarkisian,

    1. Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Shengqiao Li,

    1. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Health Plan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Anna Mnatsakanova,

    1. Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • John M. Violanti,

    1. Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
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  • Mark Wilson,

    1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Ja K. Gu,

    1. Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Diane B. Miller,

    1. Toxicology and Molecular Biology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Cecil M. Burchfiel

    1. Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia
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ABSTRACT

Objective

Low heart rate variability (HRV) has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Our objective was to examine the cross-sectional association between insulin and HRV.

Methods

Insulin levels were measured in 355 nondiabetic officers from the BCOPS study, following a 12 h fast. HRV was performed according to methods published by the task force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing Electrophysiology for measurement and analysis of HRV. Mean values of high (HF) and low frequency (LF) HRV were compared across tertiles of insulin using ANOVA and ANCOVA; p-values were obtained from linear regression models.

Results

Higher mean levels of insulin were significantly associated with lower (i.e., worse) mean levels of HRV before and after risk-factor adjustment. The results for HF HRV (ms2) were as follows: 1st insulin (µU/ml) tertile (156.3; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 128.6–189.9); 2nd tertile (154.3; 95% CI = 124.3–191.5); 3rd tertile (127.9; 95% CI = 105.0–155.8), p for trend = 0.017. Results with LF HRV were similar to HF HRV. Insulin was also inversely and significantly associated with HRV among officers with BMI ≥25 kg/m2, with ≥25.5% body fat, and among those who reported low (<median) physical activity scores.

Conclusions

In this cohort, insulin levels were inversely and significantly associated with both HF and LF HRV, especially among those with higher levels of obesity and lower levels of physical activity, suggesting associations with autonomic nervous system function. Prospective studies of this association in other populations are warranted. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 26:56–63, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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