Addition of 24-hour heart rate variability parameters to the cardiovascular health study stroke risk score and prediction of incident stroke: The cardiovascular health study

Rohan K. Bodapati, Jorge R. Kizer, Willem J. Kop, Hooman Kamel, Phyllis K. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background-Heart rate variability (HRV) characterizes cardiac autonomic functioning. The association of HRV with stroke is uncertain. We examined whether 24-hour HRV added predictive value to the Cardiovascular Health Study clinical stroke risk score (CHS-SCORE), previously developed at the baseline examination. Methods and Results-N=884 stroke-free CHS participants (age 75.3±4.6), with 24-hour Holters adequate for HRV analysis at the 1994-1995 examination, had 68 strokes over ≤ 8 year follow-up (median 7.3 [interquartile range 7.1-7.6] years). The value of adding HRV to the CHS-SCORE was assessed with stepwise Cox regression analysis. The CHS-SCORE predicted incident stroke (HR=1.06 per unit increment, P=0.005). Two HRV parameters, decreased coefficient of variance of NN intervals (CV%, P=0.031) and decreased power law slope (SLOPE, P=0.033) also entered the model, but these did not significantly improve the c-statistic (P=0.47). In a secondary analysis, dichotomization of CV% (LOWCV% ≤12.8%) was found to maximally stratify higher-risk participants after adjustment for CHS-SCORE. Similarly, dichotomizing SLOPE (LOWSLOPE < -1.4) maximally stratified higher-risk participants. When these HRV categories were combined (eg, HIGHCV% with HIGHSLOPE), the c-statistic for the model with the CHS-SCORE and combined HRV categories was 0.68, significantly higher than 0.61 for the CHS-SCORE alone (P=0.02). Conclusions-In this sample of older adults, 2 HRV parameters, CV% and power law slope, emerged as significantly associated with incident stroke when added to a validated clinical risk score. After each parameter was dichotomized based on its optimal cut point in this sample, their composite significantly improved prediction of incident stroke during ≤ 8-year follow-up. These findings will require validation in separate, larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere004305
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017



  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Clinical stroke risk model
  • Heart rate variability
  • Prediction
  • Predictors
  • Risk prediction
  • Risk stratification
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this